Anybody who has hung around Gadgetopia long enough has heard about the T-Rex, the North American built, motorcycle-based trike/sports car. The T-Rex will out corner and out accellerate most any exotic car built today, and riding on three wheels made it pretty unique.
But now two other manufacturers — Peugeot and Volkswagen — are showing three wheelers; the VW GX3 (in white) and the Peugeot 20Cup (in black. Gotta wonder where the name came from.) And both seem reasonably serious about putting them into production.
Why three wheels? Well, because it’s different.
The company (Volkswagen) sees the GX3 as a continuation of its tradition of unique oddities, which includes the jeep-style Type 181 (The Thing), the Baja buggies, the Microbus and the original Beetle.
Both vehicles also benefit from light weight and low profiles to squeeze a lot of miles (kilometers?) from a tank of gas (petrol?), and since they have three wheels they can be licensed as motorcycles, allowing them to be driven in car pool lanes. Given the fact that neither has a roof, I don’t see them being terribly popular in the upper midwest, especially this time of year.
The Peugeot is a front drive machine, which makes me wonder why the fat rear tire is needed. The VW places the engine behind the seats and uses the rear wheel to drive it, going so far as to use a chain drive. No word on how much the Peugeot might cost, but VW is throwing around a price of $17,000 for the GX3; not bad considering the price of a T-Rex.
Volkswagen will look for signs of consumer approval to help in the build/not build decision, and expects to sell them primarily in the US.