Monday, September 8, 2008

Venture Vehicles to design and build 100 mpg three-wheeled road-going jetfighter

Venture Vehicles has announced that they will develop a two passenger, three-wheeled vehicle powered by either a pure plug-in electric or plug-in hybrid petrol-electric powertrain. Under the working name of VentureOne, the new vehicle is to be designed and built in California based on the existing Carver three-wheeler already available in Europe.

Even with its single front wheel and its narrow form, the VentureOne arguably has more in common with a conventional car than a motorcycle due to the fully enclosed cabin, upright seating position, steering wheel, foot pedals and gear stick. The vehicle is actually the same height and length as a MINI Cooper but the driver sits as high off the road as they would in a BMW 3-Seriers.

Despite the VentureOne's height and narrow body, it will be very stable while rounding bends due to its most astounding feature, the ability to tilt the driver and passenger over as it corners. Like a motorcycle, this means that there is no 'overturning torque' on the wheels and the resultant forces always pass through the centre-line of the vehicle. The Carver three-wheeler pioneered the unique tilting design which allows the front wheel and both in-line passengers tilt up to 45 degrees while cornering even as the rear two wheels, anchored by the motor, remain firmly on the ground.

Carver describes the corner tilting sensation as "You steer it like a car, but when cornering it banks like a motorcycle while you feel like you are flying a jetfighter. The thrill of this tilting capability combined with the handling of a sports car makes for an exhilarating driving experience unlike any other."