Hooniverse Asks- Would You Buy a Three-Wheel Car?

Catfish from the front, cat turd from the back. . .
In the U.S., cars have to meet a lot of stringent safety and emissions standards. That onus can impact both the cost and performance of the vehicle, and have kept a lot of cottage-industry car makers from selling their wares here. A way around those standards is to build something that falls outside the narrow confines of what the government determines a car to be. One way is to make it weigh more than 6,000-lbs, which can also have a detrimental effect on performance. Another is to build it with only three wheels, making it not a car, but a vehicle that falls under the less rigid standards of motorcycles. Aptera figured this out when designing their Burt Rutan-inspired vehicle. While the 2e is an enclosed two-seater that resembles more a futuristic car than a GX1100, it does without such mandates as bumpers, side-marker lights and the such. That means Aptera doesn’t have to crash test it, and, should they ever figure out their financial challenges, would provide buyers with something without the securities those standards afford. Over the past century, a few trikes have made their way to the world’s roadways. In fact in some countries three-wheelers face different licensing requirements, and are the first cars that new drivers are allowed to tool around in. But, while many a noble attempt has been put forth, no trike has ever really caught on and become popular. Sure, the CanAm is available, but that’s more an ATV for the road than a three-wheel car, offering no kind of weather protection and seemingly aimed at motorcyclists with no sense of inherent balance. There’s also the T-Rex, which takes that concept to a roll cage enclosing extreme, but that’s Canadian, and we all know that they’re different up there. Other than the less-costly safety requirements, why bother with a trike?  The general consensus for builders has been weight savings, contending that cutting out that extraneous wheel, and what ever it’s holding up, will make the car lighter and hence more efficient. So, seeing as there are a couple of three-wheelers on the market, as well as the possibility of snapping up an old Mog or quirky Reliant Robin, does the prospect of driving the equivalent of a three-legged stool hold any appeal? And, if it does, would in concern you that your three wheeler may not meet the same standards as your neighbor’s Kia? Image sources: [Aptera.com, psfk.com]

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