For some weeks I have been musing about the idea of a lightweight trike as a possible configuration for a future economy vehicle. The trike appeals because the rolling resistance of the tires is immediately reduced by 25%, and there could be advantages in using motorcycle rear ends (chain or belt drive) to a single powered real wheel. This would avoid the additional weight of the differential and make the drive train more efficient. Also, if based on motorcycle parts, spares and donors would be readily available.
The AVT100 design taught me several key points about economy vehicle design:
- Keep the weight down as low as possible. Not only light weigh, but down close to the ground for maximum stability.
- Reduce the frontal area to a minimum thereby minimizing aerodynamic drag. Use a smooth under-pan for the whole length of the car.
- Pump up the tyres, use narrow treads and low rolling resistance tyres.
Well, a little bit of Googling, this afternoon turned up a most interesting
3 wheel vehicle built by a chap called Friend Wood, here in the UK. It is based on the already economical Citroen 2CV but with the body weight reduced from 1155lbs to just 900lbs. Its powered by the standard 602cc flat twin aircooled Citroen engine allowing a low bonnet line.
Fuel economy is about 70mpg.
The body work is very low drag (Cd=0.24) and was hand built by Friend Wood to his own design and construction technique. I would not be giving too much away if I said “Wood by name wood by nature”
This is a most interesting vehicle and I believe that it exemplifies some of the key features of Amory Lovin’s Hypercars.