T3 Motion made a name for itself making two wheeled mobility devices for security personnel. The company wants to expand its lineup and started work on its first passenger car. Fortunately, it’s not another boring electric city car aimed at housewives. By the contrary, it’s at the opposite side of the spectrum and was designed as a sporty three wheeler which blurs the line between cars and motorcycles.
The T3 Motion R3 prototype was revealed in 2011 and is powered by an AC induction motor fed by a pack of lithium polymer batteries which offer a reasonable range of 100 miles.
The new T3 Motion R3 is marketed as a sport vehicle and has the capacity to transport two people. To protect its occupants against bad weather, the R3 was fitted with a manually removable cloth top.
For the moment, T3 Motion didn’t reveal when the R3 will be launched on the market, but they said that it will be priced between $25.000-$35.000.
Hit the jump for more information on the T3 Motion R3.
The T3 Motion R3 has a three wheels configuration, but the rear wheel is fitted to motorcycle tires which make it look totally different than any other vehicle of its type. The company says that its innovative two-tire rear wheel “improves traction, stability and handling, while the low rolling resistance and rounded profile of the rear tires increase energy efficiency.”
The entire idea sounds futuristic and even the exterior design looks like it came from the future. The entire body was carefully sculpted to be able to slide easy through the air. The aerodynamic lines start up front where the hood gels seamlessly with the front bumper and the side body panels form a bold nose which gives the vehicle a purposeful and dynamic stance. Up front, you’ll also find a pair of sharp headlights that sweep back along the car. The swept-back headlight housings minimize protruding corners and ease maneuverability, but you’ll need some time before you’ll learn exactly where the corners are, because you can’t see them clearly from the low placed driver’s seat.
The bumper is fitted with a wide front diffuser which sits pretty low to the ground, giving the car a touch of aggressiveness. On each side of the car, there is a sharp crease that underlines the high waistline and points toward the rear lights.
The R3 definitely looks more grown-up than other three wheelers and a similar approach can be found within the cabin. The cockpit is dominated by a wide center stack which is fitted with all the necessary controls and a full sized Samsung Galaxy tab. This device will connect the driver and passenger to voice, data, audio and video applications such as on-board vehicle diagnostics, GPS navigation, live traffic information, email access and other. Moreover, once you exit the car, the tablet becomes portable.
On top of the center stack are two round gauges which display various vehicle stats. Luckily, the gauges seem big enough to be read without too much fuss even while driving. Speaking of driving, you are welcomed by a pair of well cushioned seats and a sporty steering wheel which should offer a proper amount of comfort and a decent driving position.
Engine and Performance
Under the hood, the T3 Motion R3 is fitted with an AC induction motor which is powered by a lithium polymer pack. The batteries offer a maximum range of up 100 miles which is at par with what you’d usually find in this class. Whack the go pedal and you’ll be able to reach a respectable top speed of 120 mph.
For the moment, we don’t know how much time is needed to fully charge the lithium polymer batteries, but we doubt that they will pass the 8 hour mark.
To keep the R3’s on road performances to a high level, the company equipped it with a multi-link, dual-shock rear suspension borrowed from the Formula One race cars.
|Top Speed|70 -120 m.p.h |
|Battery Chemistry| Lithium polymer |
|Front Track Width|55 in|
|Wheel Base|100 in|
|Min Ground Clearance |5 in|
|Motor Type|AC induction|
|Battery Pack Size|18 kwh|
|Transmission Type |single ratio transaxle|
|Front Suspension Design|Mcpherson Strut|
|Motor Location |Front|
The company says that thanks to the three wheels configuration, its R3 is classified as a motorcycle which lends it to elegantly avoid various regulatory hoops like crash testing. This being said, the car’s sporty pedigree seems sounds great and it has a lot to be loved for.
For the starters, you won’t need to rob a bank to afford one. It’s true that it doesn’t come cheap either, but compared to other sporty electric cars, it’s quite affordable. Moreover, it’s also fully electric, so even after you buy one you won’t curse every minute spent behind the steering wheel, because the cost per mile is very low.
We love the exterior design too and the innovative rear wheel makes the car look like one of Batman’s latest toys. Things aren’t too bad inside either, and even if the build quality doesn’t seem to be as refined as we would’ve hoped for, the cockpit looks generally decent.
However there is one big question left unanswered: How does it drive?