Vehicle: Car
5 wheel car 1 wheel drive   (+3, -4)  [vote for, against]
Car driven by extra central wheel. 4 wheels for brakes, slides and steering.

The car is stabilized by a small but powerful gyro.

If the car slides or needs to slow down, the wheel is pulled in, and the 4 wheels catch on. When steering the weight is manipulated to drop the two front wheels so it becomes a "3 wheeler".

Allows for easy parking, better efficiency (no differential, less traction during drive).

Ditched extra idea: For saving money and space, the old 4 wheels or at least 2 back wheels can serve as the gyro. But it probably won't be safe, and not built for flywheel speeds.
-- pashute, Jul 01 2010

4 wheel car, 1 wheel drive http://jalopnik.com...tury-segway+fighter
Gyro-stabilized car with retracting outrigger wheels at low speeds. Circa 1914. [Cedar Park, Jul 23 2010]

Weight, cost, and energy consumption of the gyro and support structure bound to outweigh any benefits. And it would be dramatically unstable.
-- sstvp, Jul 01 2010


I take back the gyro. Lower the front wheels whenever slowing down, or stability needed. It would be like riding a bike. Once in speed your all set.
-- pashute, Jul 01 2010


"Weight, cost, and energy consumption of the gyro and support structure bound to outweigh any benefits. And it would be dramatically unstable"

Exactly! No matter which configuration we settle on, the above is a great reason for doing this (+)
-- normzone, Jul 01 2010


Wouldn't this seriously hurt tha car's ability to put down power (less traction), which is why most good new cars have all or four wheel drive?
-- DIYMatt, Jul 01 2010


I saw a 5-wheeled concept racing car in a science mag some years ago: a large central wheel for driving, 4 light-weight outriggers (always on the ground, unlike this design) for steering etc. I can't find a link.
-- neutrinos_shadow, Jul 04 2010


I prefer the idea of a car with four wheels in a 'diamond' orientation, and the two outside wheels retractable, so at speed it's like a motorbike.
-- hippo, Jul 04 2010


+ OK, putting my own weight in, so it gets attention (and is ballanced back to zero).

Lower the wheels on starboard!
-- pashute, Jul 22 2010



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