Tilting 'bullet-proof’ 150mph 3-wheel EV … Urban Jet or urban myth?
By Jeff Salton
February 2, 2010
The race to produce a narrow, tilting, hybrid motorcycle/car/EV continues with another boutique manufacturer throwing its hat into the ring. This time, its Cherban who has released plans of its concept Urban Jet, a 150mph three-wheeler EV that is said to be able to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than 3.5 seconds. It’s a two-seater (bobsled style – though hopefully not as scary) that leans up to 45° into corners, and is reminiscent of the Dutch Carver which unfortunately went bankrupt, even after a very favorable review on Top Gear (see it briefly in our video on the Nissan Landglider and other narrow track vehicles).
The specs on the rear-wheel-drive Urban Jet, which supposedly has the power to rival a supercar, appear more of a wish list at this stage rather than a fait accompli. For instance, the Urban Jet website reports that the body would be made from the same material as bullet-proof vests – Aramid fiber, and that the vehicle’s safety cell would pass FIA rules for Formula One chassis.
To give the vehicle that motorbike handling “feel”, especially when cornering, steering is via a handlebar arrangement and its dashboard features an 8-inch monitor with MP3, 3G and iPod connectivity.
We believe one of the biggest issues for the Carver was that it absolutely chewed through front tires and although the Urban Jet is lighter, it has an even skinnier front wheel, so one has to wonder how this three-wheeler has overcome the problem.
According to Cherban, the front suspension is anti-dive, a-arm, swing arm; while the rear has independent wishbones. Hydraulic discs on the front and rear bring the Jet to a halt and also contribute to the regenerative energy capture during deceleration.
Powering the Urban Jet is a polymer lithium battery (26kWH), which weighs almost half of the vehicle’s total 312.5lb (142kg) – overall weight is 770lb (350kg). Life span of the batteries is more than 1,500 cycles with recharging via plug-in and an inboard charger: 110V, 16A or 22V 16A mono. Full charge can be achieved in 150 minutes, which should allow the vehicle to travel roughly 220 miles (350km).
The Urban Jet’s dimensions are: L: 11.15ft (3.4m) x W: 2.8ft (0.85m) x H: 5ft (1.55m), which Cherban says means it can fit two Urban Jets in a parking space. This would appeal to many motorists who find city parking virtually impossible or have run out of garaging space at home.
The Urban jet is enclosed which means protection from the weather and there’s no need to wear a helmet. While in convertible mode the vehicle has a top speed of 60mph. The trunk has a 20 gallon capacity.
The company says it will never perform any restyling or modification to the Urban Jet, rather, it will replace the model in its entirety, should technical developments necessitate it. Nor will it market any other type of land vehicle under the Cherban brand.
Each Urban Jet will come with a unique plate stating: “Built by Cherban for … “
No word on pricing yet as Cherban searches for sponsors for its adventurous project.