Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I never imagined it would be edible.

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One man trike

Essentially a powered, enclosed trike with few luxuries.
  (+1, -2)
(+1, -2)
  [vote for,

Ok so the basic vehicle would be based around a recumbent trike. The 'car' would hold one person and a small amount of luggage, be almost sealed off from the outside environment (much like a car), and not much else. A basic ventilation system would mimic that on cars from the 50's (ie vents and windows), with a small heater/demister added. ICE would be limited to an am/fm tuner with cd and 2 speakers.

There would be a normal accellerator and brake pedal setup, but that's where the similarity ends. The gearstick would have high, low, neutral, reverse, and park positions. The park position would be beside neutral however (kind of like how you move the stick sideways for sequential shift on some automatic cars). The clutch would be basically how hard you pushed the gearstick. Ie slowly select forward gives you gentle smoothness, slam it in and you stall. A more basic system is found on the model T fords. The steering would be via joystick (as the low mass of the vehicle would allow that with minimal power assistance). If the joystick is not practical or marketable, a normal steering wheel can be used, but that's just another thing for the driver to hit in a crash. Given that there is only one seat, a lot of room is available. A recumbent seating arrangement is likely, giving maximum comfort and minimum vehicle height.

The body would be a fibreglass (or equally workable material) shell filled with foam and aluminium crumple zones. For marketing reasons the car would have to be quite large (ie at least 2/3rds of the size of a kei class car) for a single person, so the empty space can be quite effectively taken up by lightweight, cheap crushable structures. Some with storage space in them. This would also make the car quite safe. A rollover bar is also an option.

I haven't yet decided on a monocoque (spelling?) or seperate chassis yet. Entry/exit would be via a hinged/removeable canopy and a single side mounted door (which side depends on the country of purchase).

The engine of a vehicle this light (400kg loaded) could be a direct lift from a motorbike, or a small stationary engine. 30hp in a 400kg car should give performance equivalent to most basic small cars. I would think that a belt drive from the gearbox would be the best way to drive a single rear wheel.

Fuel economy from a vehicle this light would probably be in the 2.5l/100km range on the highway, and maybe 5l/100km around town. This is a rough guess based on my 1700kg car getting 8l/100km and 15l/100km respectively.


p.s. This idea was inspired by seeing a recumbent pedal powered bike.

BLSTIC, Jun 14 2008

Venture three-wheeler http://news.cnet.co...89_3-6215929-1.html
Semi-enclosed, recumbent [Klaatu, Jun 14 2008]

The Gazelle http://www.wippz.co...automotive-x-prize/
100 mpg, but 4-wheeler [Klaatu, Jun 14 2008]

T-Rex http://www.go-t-rex.com/
[phoenix, Jun 14 2008]

Spyder http://spyder.brp.com/
[phoenix, Jun 14 2008]

Tri-Magnum http://reversetrike.com/tri-magnum.html
[MisterQED, Jun 14 2008]

Aptera http://www.aptera.com/
[MisterQED, Jun 14 2008]


       I've wondered about doing one of these. The reasons I haven't are 1) I'd never get it finished, and 2) I'm supposed to be cycling, for exercise.   

       That said, cracking idea. [+]
david_scothern, Jun 14 2008

       //or a small stationary engine//
Must ... resist ... posting ...the ...bleedin' ...obvious...
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 14 2008

       what, that stationary engines are meant to stay put? You know exactly what I meant.
BLSTIC, Jun 14 2008

       This sounds e x a c t l y like Venture's three-wheeler <link.
Klaatu, Jun 14 2008

       You could always base the design on the cockpit of a German fighter plane.
That could really take off.
gnomethang, Jun 14 2008

       One person powered tricycles are nothing new. What's new about this idea?
phoenix, Jun 14 2008

       //100 mpg, but 4-wheeler//
I like the idea of a four wheeled trike.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 14 2008

       [gnomethang] like a BF109?
david_scothern, Jun 14 2008

       No this idea is WAY older than that see link for the Tri-Magnum or how it seems to be done best by the Aptera.
MisterQED, Jun 14 2008

       I hadn't been able to find any existing road registerable trikes that weren't motorbikes attached to a vw engine. I didn't look that hard though. The closest thing I came across was the vw one litre car. With a small single cylinder diesel and electric assist.   

       The gazelle and venture are both tilt vehicles, that wasn't the idea. That creates more mechanical systems that aren't strictly needed. The T-rex is very close, but I was thinking more commuter than sport oriented. And fully enclosed.   

       I still haven't seen a commuter oriented trike though. One designed to simply get someone from a-b in more than a millisecond.
BLSTIC, Jun 15 2008

       1980-82 HMV Freeway. 3 wheels, 12 or 16 hp, advertised to get 80 mpg at a constant 45 mph.   

       Messerschmitt KR 175 or KR200. Top speed around 60, mpg about 50 or 60, but they were 2-seaters.   

       Bob Keyes' TriVette (another 2-seater) about 60 mpg, approx 1972-76.   

       Check out 3-wheelers.com.
whlanteigne, Feb 06 2013


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