Last week we covered the emergent Elio Motors highly-sustainable, three-wheeled vehicle. However, where the Elio is driven by efficiency and common sense, this week’s alternative vehicle focus is more oriented to visceral pursuits, like sheer performance.
Meet Canada’s Campagna T-REX, a long-suffering winner in the alternative vehicle market, along with its ultimate rapprochement with the U.S. DOT, thereby furthering freedom and the American way. Back in the 1990’s an innovative vehicle company named Campagna Canada, came up with the perfect marriage of car and motorcycle when it rolled out a low-slung, three-wheeled vehicle design, driven by a 1.4 Liter, 160 HP, 4-cylinder BMW bike engine.
The vehicle immediately caused a splash since the design called for side-by-side passenger seating, a steering wheel and a roof, along with a traditional gearbox/pedal arrangement plus typical car-like amenities. The thing ran like stink, and produced a top speed of 154 MPH at the high-end, after first delivering a 0-60 time of just over 3 seconds.
Like any other ‘punished good deed’ in America, however, the vehicle ran into a host of regulatory problems with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), since the bureaucrats couldn’t decide if the vehicle was a motorcycle or a car, let alone figuring out how to mount publically acceptable safety systems, or hang proper environmental controls on the blazing beast. Years passed and ultimately the original founders went south and moved on.
However, in 2008, a new clutch of owners began to work through all the bureaucratic kinks, and today’s Campagna Motors T-REX V-13, is entirely DOT-compliant, registered as a motorcycle, and available through an emerging dealer network throughout the U.S.
So, check out the video segment, and then make up your own mind. Granted, the vehicle isn’t cheap at an MSRP of $62k, and the MPG is only typical of some average mid-sized ICE’s, but the price is still $30K below a Tesla, and even if you have to learn to feather the throttle a bit to extend fuel mileage, still one hell of a lot more fun to drive.