Quote: "The US$9000 electric version [...] with the additional motor fitted to the other rear wheel ..."
Does that mean that the gas version and the version with only one electric motor have only one powered rear wheel? I find that hard to believe, it would drive like crap.
The design is quirky and too bad it only seats one, but give this concept an autonomous self-driving capability and we can have something that is quite efficient, effective and environmentally friendly. And no issues about using your cell phone or tablet while on the way to work, (or even eating your breakfast)---totally stress free.
If enough of them eventually use the highways, they can have exclusive use of their own skinny express lanes too! This would minimize the potential problem of sharing the roads with conventional cars.
Jeff Goldstein
I have never been a fan of electric cars as currently available but this makes a lot of sense as a second or third family car for around town for families in the suburbs. It could be used to drive to the train station or to the supermarket. If it was expanded to hold 2 or 3 it could be used to take a child to school. I would love to see them for sale here in the US. With 3 wheels it would be classed as a motorcycle so it wouldn't need the expensive and heavy mandatory safety equipment that cars need.
Pretty neat little vehicle! I would really like to have a back window for visibility. Additional structure at the rear would protect expensive wheels, axles, brakes from damage in a low speed rear or rear quarter impact. In fact, since the vehicle has a bulky look, why not put another bulky foam barrier at the rear to absorb a rear end impact? Hopefully there is adequate roll over structure also as the three wheel stance will not be as resistant to rollover as a wider 4 wheel stance is. As this will be sold in Asia I am quite sure that in short order the roof will be cut off so the whole family can pile aboard.
Pat Kelley
The Elio three wheeler, planned for hitting the roads this Summer, is head and shoulders a better buy for the American market. The Elio will have all of the features expected of an auto, including air conditioning, seats two, has a 90 mph top speed, delivers 84 mpg highway and 48 mpg city driving, and is priced at under $7,000.
Sam Helmy
The only benefit that comes clearly across with this vehicle is the immense fuel economy. Other than that, it is not able to show the point: US$5000 is NOT hyper-economical for a three wheel scooter, there are well designed safe full-on hatchbacks that are around that price. Toyota's new Atkinson engine delivers 78 mpg fitted into a proper car (just 2 miles per gallon less than the Spira4u), and the Tata Nano wins the pricing war with a retail tag as low as US$2000.
This is a bubble-car. BMW's Isetta achieved the same mileage back in 1955 (3 liters/100kms, or 78 mpg). So what's the point of the last 70 years?
It doesn't have a reverse gear, it seats one, it goes hardly above highway legal speed, and it has the stability of... well... a three-wheeler. Same problems that killed the earlier bubble cars. The concept has been around and failed definitively. Everything else about the honeycomb chassis and the foam panels that may help it float are gimmicks that cannot salvage a bad idea.
This should be the norm. nobody requires the sheet metal on the road today. there should be one machine, dedicated to fuel efficiency and conservation/safety. no need for many different car companies making status symbols... travel isn't an expression of your inner 'you''s about getting a to b. a better world would treat travel as such...and eliminate the overlap of so many ridiculous car companies. YOu get enjoyment out of burning fuel? You are pathetic.
Paul Anthony
Did I miss the top speed with 2 motors?
Nicolas Zart
Reverse the Spiral4U into two wheels in the front and a motorized one behind, and you have a super great handling vehicle that will put to shame $30,000 to 40,000 cars.
Jon Smith
Wow hdm do you realize how many motorsports enthusiasts (myself included) you just insulted? Despite being an motorsports enthusiast I am also an environmental enthusiast I put about double the mileage on my bicycles than I do on my ultra low emission motor vehicle each year. That includes commuting 6 miles each way by bike everyday this week where the temperature in Wisconsin has been in the negative numbers. So forgive if I think you are the pathetic one...
Anyway what I really wanted to post was a request for pictures of the interior of the Spira4u as the exterior was well covered but there isn't a single shot of the interior.