Recently, we have seen the merging of forms: lawnmowers capable of 130 mph speeds, flying cars, e-cycles, clean ATVs and snowmobiles, electric skateboards and motorized wheelchairs. One constant over the decades, though, has been the desire to merge motorcycles with cars. Recent advances in technology and materials are allowing this dream to become a reality with extraordinary results.
Cutting Edge $19,000-$24,000 Motorcycle Car
Take C1, a new vehicle being developed by “Lit Motors” of San Francisco, California. A prototype designed, built and tested has a maximum speed of 100 mph (160km/h), 0 to 60 mph (100kp/h) in six seconds and a range of 200 miles (320 km) per charge. C1 weighs 800 lbs (360kg), is 112 inches (2.8m) long and 55 inches (1.4m) tall. The car is being designed to fit two people from 5′ to 6’3″, though people up to 6’5″ have fit comfortably in prototypes, and the vehicle should accommodate a wide range of weights.
The C1 is self balancing, even when stopped, staying upright using two gyroscopes that are fully controlled at all times by the vehicles onboard system. The vehicle also deploys a “parking gear” or “kick stand” system when the C1 is placed in “park,” mechanically stabilizing it when systems are turned off.
C1 is fully electric and uses high torque, direct drive, in-hub motors which allow for a sleek body design. The vehicle is made of a steel unibody chassis with strong doors, seat belts and airbags. The vehicle is designed so in the event of a collision it will not flip or roll. All systems on the vehicle are double or triple redundant with mechanical backups should any systems fail.
The company is sourcing batteries at this time and will use the most-efficient, cost-effective battery available. Lit Motors is aiming for charge times of 4-6 hours and output of 20kW as well as fitting the vehicles for compatibility with quick charge stations.
About three-fourths of the first 1,000 C1s have been pre-ordered. They are expected to hit the streets in 2014 with an initial $24,000 price tag before tax credits. With enough interest in the C1, Lit Motors expects the price to drop to a mere $12,000.
No Shortage of Cool Designs
C1 is just one of literally thousands of “concept cars” that we could see on the roads in coming years. Here’s an interesting car from Andreas Blazunaj called the Volkswagen Aerrow: