Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Catama-Car

Two-wheeled car for energy efficiency!
 
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No it's not a bike. Well, much. Bear with me. Four wheels on the ground increase friction and reduce fuel efficiency etc. So why not design a car with two wheels down the centre, like a bike, and a wheel raised above the road (maybe 15-20cm) on either side, in a diamond formation. When driving along a straight road, the car has all the benefits of a motorbike, but when cornering it tilts slightly onto the inside wheel to provide extra grip and drag. The two side wheels need not be any further apart than the sides of a conventional car, so normal roads would be useable. With the impending paucity of fossil fuels and the need to wring every last joule out of the currently risible alternatives, this may just be a Way of the Future!
Nadir, Mar 09 2001

Peraves Eco-Mobile http://www.meos.ch/peraves/indexe.htm
Something like this, perhaps? [egnor, Mar 09 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Owosso Motor Car - Pulse http://www.bconnex.net/~vortex/pulse.htm
The 'Ground Cruising Recreational Vehicle' [StarChaser] speaks of. [phoenix, Mar 29 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

BD200 - LiteStar - Pulse http://www.angelfire.com/or2/5D3/
Makes you wonder who owns it... [phoenix, Mar 29 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) And one more for the Pulse http://www.geocities.com/autocycle2000/
[phoenix, Mar 29 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]


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Annotation:







       Yes, my Raleigh Chopper used to be built like that, much to the amusement of the cruel children on my street.
stickyman, Mar 09 2001
  

       The sooner the better in my opinion. As for the car, it's a car! A Ford body maybe. Just a different wheel arrangement. Maybe work on the stability though. Computers could assess the velocity and rotate the outer wheels to match it when cornering...hmm.
Nadir, Mar 09 2001
  

       Nearly baked; see link. (Borrowed from one of the pages linked from "Ratchet Paddle".)   

       Rolling friction is not really a big deal in any case; at speed, air resistance is a bigger factor. Motorcycles aren't more efficient because they only have two wheels, they're more efficient because their cross-section is so much smaller, and because they're so much lighter.
egnor, Mar 09 2001
  

       When cornering, wouldn't the car tilt slightly on to the -outside- wheel? You'd try and lean to the inside, but centripetal forces would push the car to rest on the outside wheel. This would change the center of gravity during the turn. Could this increase the chances of a roll-over?
Wes, Mar 09 2001
  

       Long since baked. There used to be a 'car' called the Pulse. Teardrop shaped, with little outrigger wheels on either side. Looked cool <to a 12 year old> but would only hold two people and had a cargo capacity that would be strained by half a croissant.   

       I couldn't find it on a web search <I wish the searches would allow you to use capital letters as part of it...> and haven't seen it for years, so I suspect it bombed monstrously...
StarChaser, Mar 10 2001
  

       i think i saw one on tv there made by a swiss bloke it was on a 'Jeremy Clarkson' vehicles from around the world thing a couple of years ago
edski, Mar 10 2001
  

       I like the car idea better with a high performance angle. Wheel configuration 1-4-1, that's 1 bogey front, 2 bogey/2 drive center, 1 bogey rear. The two center bogeys are trained with the drive wheels through a multi-wheel CV joint to allow a bit of real time vertical movement for active steering about the corner, but they are essentially freewheeling during forward travel.

Body stability by aerodynamics.
reensure, Mar 10 2001
  

       Careless rednecks can easily become carless rednecks if they lose their license after colliding with someone in their 1967 Ford Ÿ-ton pickup tank.
cp, Nov 09 2001
  

       When did they get up to mp9, anyway? I thought they were only up to mp3's. This guy must be from the future...   

       Cool idea, by the way, Nadir, despite all the technical and common-sense drawbacks.
snarfyguy, Nov 09 2001
  

       whatever happened to good ol' luvable mp9 anyway? Gawd forbid he should have been hit by a vehicle while riding around on his 124 mpg (was it?) moped which he claimed he always kept in pickup bed.
thumbwax, Mar 29 2002
  


 

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