Monday, November 19, 2007


What do you get when you take this : (GM solar powered racer)

And crossbreed it with this? (Cirrus R22)

You get this! a 300 mpg "car" from Aptera.

I'm sure there's a market for it somewhere, provided it can pass the DOT safety requirements, etc. (with three wheels, is it really a car? Or a motorcycle?) On the design side, the wheel layout is like a classic taildragger aircraft, and those can be tricky to handle when on the ground.

This design is all about human transportation without any utility. Pure people mover, provided you only need two seats.

Kinda intriguing, eh?


egon said...

The "ground loop" problem is only an issue if the center of gravity can get outside the ability of the vehicle to correct it. This happens in a big hurry on conventional gear aircraft, because in a "big swerve", the tail can "break loose". It's unclear from the articles about that "car" whether the rear wheel is used for steering.

Toro makes a line of mowing tractors that use rear-wheel steering which can be very stable going straight, and "spin out" in a sharp turn (or if you lose traction on the rear wheel).

David said...

I'd bet the front wheels are used for steering (note the steering bar in the photo). Still, I'd be curious to see what happens at high speeds when you swerve. Also - rain and show handling? Not an issue where you are, but here in the Frozen Tundra, its a real issue. (ok, SF gets a fair amount of rain in the winter)

At any rate - its cool to see this sort of thing moving forward. Cars are really the only product market still 'owned' only by big companies.