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The Can-Am Spyder gets a trio of fully-faired touring versions

Bombardier Recreational Products has had a remarkable success with its three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder since the roadster’s launch more than two years ago, and the big news is that the Spyder is to be developed into two streams – one for sports riding and one for touring. The existing GS model will now be designated the Spyder RS (roadster sport) and the new touring range will be designated Spyder RT (roadster touring). There’s also a new special edition Spyder RS-S model, with a host of additional features as standard, three RT models and a purpose-built 622 liter trailer.  Read More

The Spira

A good product must be perfectly adapted to its market - and the Spira looks like an excellent fit for the chaotic conditions of South-East Asian roads. This odd little three-wheel two-seater weighs only 300-odd pounds (130kg) - that's because it uses a super-lightweight reinforced foam for 90 percent of the bodywork. It gets well over 100mpg from its 110cc engine, it's light enough to lift by hand, and the foam shell has huge safety benefits, both for the occupants and for the legions of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists that swarm the roads of Thailand. Oh, and it floats.  Read More

The AutoMoto tilting three-wheeler

There was lots of interest last year when we wrote about Sidam's Xnovo, which essentially looked like a 500cc micro-minivan on three wheels. But the Xnovo hasn't materialized on the market yet, and its USD$10,000 projected price robs it of any practical claim to economy. The California-built AutoMoto, however, achieves many of the Xnovo's aims for less than half the price. It's got a roof, a windshield, wipers, an MP3 stereo, CVT, two seats and a large, lockable storage trunk - and it has three wheels, with two at the rear, which attach to a platform that allows the body to tilt when cornering. Its 150cc engine gets 83mpg in daily use - 30mpg better than the Toyota Prius - and it's much easier to park. It can squeeze through traffic like any other scoot, but it doesn't require a motorcycle license or helmet in many US states. The AutoMoto should prove itself to be a practical and fun way to get around and it looks like a bargain too, at only USD$3800.  Read More

ZAP Alias roadster

ZAP has shown a pre-production version of its three-wheeled, all-electric Alias roadster at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual conference and exposition in New Orleans. The company, which is best known for its small-footprint, low-emissions, low-speed electric cars and trucks for urban use is looking to get on the highway with its latest creation. The preliminary specs for the two-seater Alias give it a top speed of 105 mph, acceleration of 0 – 60 mph in 7.8 seconds and a range of over 100 miles on a single charge. Throw in a sculptured low slung design, gull-wing style doors and a price point predicted to be under the USD$35K mark and you have another promising prospect for the soon to explode EV marketplace.  Read More

The Higgins-Aube ENERGYA

Designers from The Creative Unit have spent time working with Bombardier, so it's no coincidence that the work they've done on the Higgins-Aube ENERGYA looks a lot like a two-seater version of a Can-Am Spyder. But the purpose of this Canadian concept is quite different; since three wheelers are registered as motorcycles in many states, and motorcycles have fewer regulatory restrictions imposed on them, the ENERGYA is designed to bring racecar levels of ultra-low weight, big power and massive grip to the road that would be impossible if it was registered as a car. As such, it's got a much wider front wheelbase, enclosed seating, roll protection and double the horsepower of the Can-Am roadster.  Read More

The Aptera 2e

The already unmistakable Aptera 2e three-wheeler is continuing to evolve as it approaches its promised 2009 release with the latest development being the introduction of front-wheel drive to replace the original belt-driven rear wheel set-up. Front-wheel drive will now be used in all production vehicles with the company citing improved traction, stability and greater efficiency at high-speed as the key reasons for making the switch.  Read More

Round the world on solar power

Swiss school teacher Louis Palmer last week became the first person to drive around the world on solar power. The 52,000km (32,000 mile) trip took 17-months at an average speed of 65kmh (40 mph). Mr Palmer said the car ran "like a Swiss clock," breaking down only twice during the grueling trip through 38 nations that started in Lucerne in July 2007.  Read More

Peugeot's HYmotion3 compressor concept vehicle

October 15, 2008 It's not a car and it's not quite a scooter. Peugeot's HYmotion3 compressor concept vehicle is an original mix of previously seen design elements - a semi-enclosed shell akin to BMW's C1 or the Benelli Adiva and the carving 3-wheel layout of Piaggio's MP3 - with hybrid drivetrain technology added to produce a 2-person vehicle that promises low CO2 emissions as well as greater safety and weather protection than conventional scooters.  Read More

Zuumer ultralight electric vehicle

Sky-high fuel prices and an increasing awareness of the damage we are doing to our planet with oversized, CO2 spouting modes of transport has seen the electric scooter evolve from plaything to viable short-trip transportation option. So if you're a new manufacturer entering into this growing market, how do you get noticed and stand out from the pack? For San Diego based start-up company ZuumCraft, the answer was to take their three-wheeled, stand-up electric vehicle on a 650 mile road trip from San Francisco to San Diego - nothing like the 2-3 mile journey it's designed for, but a great way to showcase the reliability and performance attributes of this impressive design.  Read More

Robert Q. Riley Enterprises' XR3 hybrid prototype

Here's one for the dedicated back-yard mechanic. Arizona based Robert Q. Riley Enterprises has now released construction plans based on the completed prototype of its do-it-yourself, two-passenger, XR3 plug-in hybrid, a vehicle that's capable of up to 225 miles per gallon, has a top speed of 80 mph and acceleration comparable to a conventional small car. The USD$200 instructional package for the modular, three-wheeled sportscar includes printed drawings, electronic 3D virtual models, computer files that enable vendors to make parts plus a DVD that outlines the building of the car.  Read More

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