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Discussion in 'Similar Vehicles' started by AriLea, Jun 28, 2014.
Too tasty to ignore....
Three-wheelers are NOT interesting if they feature approx. the same width as a conventional four-wheeled car, IMO. The Elio for instance, is as wide as a Tesla Model S as I recall. Its factual footprint will be the same as that of a car that fills in the complete rectangular.
How to keep vehicle width limited? Well, by doing two things:
1. don't seat occupants next to each other
2. use tilt to have the vehicle 'shrug off' lateral forces during cornering;
tilt angle can be kept withing reason because of the low CoG (batteries)
The wide stance is a common engineering/design debate. It's a set of choices based on desires or objectives.
By desire and objectives, I don't consider sociable seating a sensible use of a three wheeler. For my preference, the reason for a trike is to get an aerodynamic benefit,(and weight/cost benefit,) and done by getting it shaped into that classic tear-drop form. A 2F1R fits that shape better than a 1R2F layout, plus the 2F is easier to make safe for roll-over, given you can implement FWD.
True, in general, when you drop one wheel you always loose 10% of complexity and maybe 15% of weight. But you also loose some desirable handling and rollover in trade. You do get to use the diamond lane, which is nice. Some consider trikes unique and cool, chalk that up to individual taste.
I say do three if you get enough in trade. For my preferences going solo or tandem makes it easier to benefit doing a trike/autocycle.
But now about narrow vs wide, yes, a narrow vehicle has less aero-profile, and entry is easier to engineer. But you loose in the rollover and handling department, which a trike was already challenged at. So I prefer wide..yet tandem seating... but....to mitigate the profile, I recover as much space between wheels and the body as I can. Since there is room to make a classic aero-form via the fenders you don't loose much in aerodynamics(only if using tandem seating). You do gain a minimal of weight (via the fenders) going wide, but not a lot.
So look at the three vehicles above. I agree with your issues. I love all three, but... The rounded back corners represent very poor aerodynamics. (called a bluff form by some) The smart-for-three has very little if any engineering advantages compared to a 4 wheeler such as a Fiat 500. In exchange you get rollover restrictions, and handling issues due to high center of gravity. Safe maybe, but not desirable. The best mpg you will get out of that sidecar is maybe 60mpg. The Heinkle/Issetta was never meant to go over 50mph. If re-engineered to do 65-75MPH, it would loose any advantages it had over the Fiat 500.
Oh and about tilters, for the complexity and cost, you get exactly what you had in a two wheeler. So why bother? Oh ok it's cool, but, there are some handling issues that may crop up depending on the technical implementation of tilt. So it may be less safe. Now all bets are off if you get the gyro hardware to work with-out making a driver sea-sick. But the cost/reliability of that is suspect up to now.
So the only trikes I dabble morphic artwork in, until they exist in large numbers, are 2F1R, FWD, Tandem/Solo seating autocycles.
I came back to give some Morphic updates...next post then
Some recent artwork... (I'm very charmed by the 60's punk retro-VW)