Automotive

Old European styling meets 3-wheeled electrification in the Nobe 100

Old European styling meets 3-w...
The Nobe 100 is based on threes – it has three wheels, three seats, and charges in less than three hours
The Nobe 100 is based on threes – it has three wheels, three seats, and charges in less than three hours
View 17 Images
Prototype drawings like this one show both a cabriolet and a closed-top version of the Nobe
1/17
Prototype drawings like this one show both a cabriolet and a closed-top version of the Nobe
This glass-topped Nobe design is probably not likely to happen in production for a variety of practical reasons
2/17
This glass-topped Nobe design is probably not likely to happen in production for a variety of practical reasons
Two main batteries, located midships, provide power to three motors, all located in wheel hubs
3/17
Two main batteries, located midships, provide power to three motors, all located in wheel hubs
The Nobe 100 is based on threes – it has three wheels, three seats, and charges in less than three hours
4/17
The Nobe 100 is based on threes – it has three wheels, three seats, and charges in less than three hours
This classic blue rendering reminds us of MINI cars of the 1960s
5/17
This classic blue rendering reminds us of MINI cars of the 1960s
This darker-appearing blue is more Aston Martin in its refinement
6/17
This darker-appearing blue is more Aston Martin in its refinement
Red cars go faster, right? That's probably the premise behind this red-colored rendering of the Nobe 100
7/17
Red cars go faster, right? That's probably the premise behind this red-colored rendering of the Nobe 100
The simplistic and yet sophisticated design qualities of a "tadpole" three-wheeler like the Nobe 100 are shown in this overhead view
8/17
The simplistic and yet sophisticated design qualities of a "tadpole" three-wheeler like the Nobe 100 are shown in this overhead view
It's easy to see the many design influences that went into the overall appearance of the Nobe 100 from this rendering
9/17
It's easy to see the many design influences that went into the overall appearance of the Nobe 100 from this rendering
This two-tone color and design angle makes one want to use words like "capital" and "wot wot" when talking cars
10/17
This two-tone color and design angle makes one want to use words like "capital" and "wot wot" when talking cars
This interior view shows the Nobe's "luggage" battery at bottom right
11/17
This interior view shows the Nobe's "luggage" battery at bottom right
Interior design seems to follow the exterior in its retro look and feel
12/17
Interior design seems to follow the exterior in its retro look and feel
From this angle, one must wonder if the Nobe 100 also adds "sailing" to its list of capabilities
13/17
From this angle, one must wonder if the Nobe 100 also adds "sailing" to its list of capabilities
On display in Stockholm, the non-functioning prototype Nobe 100 was unveiled to the public at the kickoff for the car's crowdfunding
14/17
On display in Stockholm, the non-functioning prototype Nobe 100 was unveiled to the public at the kickoff for the car's crowdfunding
The androgynous, pony tailed hood ornament on the Nobe 100 screams "Make me!"
15/17
The androgynous, pony tailed hood ornament on the Nobe 100 screams "Make me!"
The live version of the Nobe 100 will be on display to the public throughout the crowdfunding term of 45 days
16/17
The live version of the Nobe 100 will be on display to the public throughout the crowdfunding term of 45 days
It's difficult to see a reason not to love the Nobe 100 when seeing it full-on
17/17
It's difficult to see a reason not to love the Nobe 100 when seeing it full-on

Imagine if, after the Second World War, the Germans, English, and Italians could all agree on a vehicle design concept. Then, to make it happen, they went to Estonia and made a prototype. This might seem like an alternate universe kind of story, but it's (with some delay) what happened with the Nobe 100.

The Nobe 100 (pronounced "no-bee" not "nobby") looks like a vintage design team from Alfa Romeo, MINI, and Volkswagen all got together and created a prototype. Maybe with some influence from Bertone and some apologies via MINI for their treatment of the Robin in Mr Bean.

All of this might make the Nobe 100 sound hideous, but it's most definitely not that. It is classically beautiful in its treatment of lines and motion. Unlike Paul's Elio or similar tadpole-style three-wheeled creations we've seen in recent years, the Nobe looks downright breathtaking.

A physical prototype is now on display in Sweden after almost a year of work since the original concept was introduced via computer-aided drawings and designs. The Nobe was instigated by Roman Moljar, who often looks very serious in photographs, and is now backed by Peter Vesterbacka, formerly of Rovio/Angry Birds. Most of the Nobe's funding will be via crowdfunding, with a new round starting now to build investment backing for further refinement and prototype development. Crowdfunding is limited to Europe only and we can assume initial vehicle sales would also be limited to Europe.

Two main batteries, located midships, provide power to three motors, all located in wheel hubs
Two main batteries, located midships, provide power to three motors, all located in wheel hubs

The prototype being shown in Stockholm now is a non-functioning design concept to show how the vehicle will look and the dimensions at play for the exterior and interior. There are a lot of great things about the car, including more divulged information about the intended powertrain and capability it will have.

The Nobe 100 is based on threes. It has three wheels, three seats, and charges in less than three hours. Combined range is 220 km (137 miles) and the car is, get this, three-wheel drive. Each of the Nobe's three wheels has a hub motor, which combine to provide about 60 horsepower for a top speed of 109.5 km/h (68 mph). Nobe says it should reach 60 mph from a stop in about 6 seconds, with the vehicle's light weight (via a composite body) being key to its range expectation and speeds.

The Nobe 100's stated goal is to be a stylish, autonomous-driving-ready, urban vehicle with the capability of going intercity. Interestingly, about 24 km (15 miles) of the range on the car comes from a detachable "luggage"-style battery pack that can be easily removed without tools and recharged from any standard European outlet in about half an hour. This portable battery normally runs accessories in the vehicle, but can also be used to extend the range of the Nobe or add juice when standard EV charging plugs aren't available while parked. This novel idea is a brilliant solution to both anticipated range anxiety and the problem of EV infrastructure.

The Nobe 100 is a beautiful little car whose androgynous ponytailed hood ornament seems to be screaming "Make this!". With lovely styling, tons of quirky appeal, and seating for three skinny people, it definitely has the potential to be a surefire hit. If it were to come to America, it'd have immediate appeal to the hipster community and their love of all things retro, but not too inconvenient. Add in some of Nobe's buzzwords like "upgradable" and "connected" and you've all but lined up the Silicon Valley crowd at your doorstep for this one.

The Nobe 100 is a beautiful mix of design, marketing, and realism. Watch the video below to hear Moljar discuss his vision in suitably artistic terms.

Sources: MyNobe (including Facebook), FundedByMe

INVEST IN NOBE CARS

10 comments
ErstO
The Messerschmitt company tried this after the war https://i.ytimg.com/vi/llB25Vn92uM/maxresdefault.jpg
Futility
Like this very much, but at what price?
Tom Lee Mullins
I think it is a neat little retro styled electric vehicle. I hope it does well. I think it would be great as a commuter car. I look forward to giving it a test drive. The Messerschmitt KR200 was tandem, gas powered and only had seats for two people.
BartyLobethal
I like the general concept very much, but I'm not a fan of the 'retro' styling as I suspect this might result in higher drag than a more consciously 'aero' styling. On the other hand, the limited range and top speed seem to indicate this is a focused commuter vehicle, so at the speeds it will most likely do most of the time, the impact of the styling will probably be negligible. Personally I'd prefer a tandem seating arrangement that would allow the cabin to be even narrower, but I guess most people would prefer to sit side-by-side making this a more saleable design.
WilliamSager
Does it have a self righting feature for when it tips over?
pruutus
I really hope it does well.
diane
Tyre changing could be a problem, unless run-flat tyres are intended for use ?
McDesign
Hum - I think the front wheel to fender relationship is awkward, and will block exactly zero spray coming from the wheel - like when "gasser" drag cars used the straight front axle from a van. But hey, it does look "period"!
redlen
Reminds me of my Frisky three wheeler of 1958, same configuration made of glass fibre but used 250cc two stroke engine 4 speed box. 60mph forward and 60mp reverse( I only ever got o 40mph) just start the engine in reverse to get 4 reverse gears using the second set of points. Great fun and surprisingly stable, it never even got close to rolling on its side. Great design with only the noisy engine to complain about.
Neil Larkins
The two wheels in front/one wheel in back config is surprisingly stable, nearly as much as four wheels, and in some cases more maneuverable. Will not tip over, as with the Robin. Retro good looks...and yes, should a '66 VW Type 3 fastback ever mate with a '58 Alfa Giulietta.