While 3-wheeled cars are still a novelty in the automotive industry, there is no denying that these gimpy-legged cars have grown in popularity over recent years. One less wheel can’t take down the level of charisma, sophistication, and uniqueness these cars have.
Some three-wheeled cars have gained a following by offering something new to car buyers. While some of these three-wheel vehicles never made it into production, others have been adored by many. No matter the status, three-wheelers are admired by a plethora of car lovers.
Three-wheelers are classified as vintage along with other classic cars that are easy to restore. People love to buy classic three-wheelers because of their never-ending love for antiques.
The more well-known mainstream passenger vehicle manufacturers have stayed clear of three-wheeled vehicles for volume sales even though many early pioneering-era motor carriages had only three wheels. Though they come with their own unique charm they are not an appropriate choice for someone looking for the best family cars. So, let us explore the list of top 8 craziest three-wheelers that you would love to ride below:
1: The King of Elegancy – Campagna T-Rex
For a second, forget about the Campagna T-Rex’s egg-shaped appearance and treat it with the respect that it deserves being the Glamorous 3-wheel car. The Canadian-born three-wheeler is not only intimidating in its name but also performs like one. The T-Rex is a three-wheeler that’s fast and can take out all lemmings.
It comes with a 1.6-liter straight-six BMW engine which produces 160 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque. Although these numbers may not sound very impressive, the T-Rex is only 1,199 lbs (544 kilos). This three-wheeler boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 267 horsepower per tonne.
2: The Flame of Grandeur – The Polaris Slingshot
The Polaris Slingshot, even though it has one additional wheel, is classified as a motorcycle. Although it seems odd for a vehicle that is more like a track-racer to be classified as a motorcycle by the Polaris, you will soon forget all your doubts about its classification once you ride the Slingshot. We can only say that it is appropriately named.
The Slingshot features a 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine manufactured by General Motors. It produces a stunning 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet. The Slingshot is powerful, fast and looks almost like a Decepticon. However, it is capable of amazing performance numbers. Imagine a three-wheeler being faster than many of the more powerful sports cars today. If you are a lover of motorcycle road trips you can give this a try.
3: The Glaring Flair – Volkswagen GX3
It marked Volkswagen’s first foray into three-wheeled vehicles. Conceptually, the GX3 was very cool. It also featured impressive power and performance numbers. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine produced 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet.
VW claimed that the concept could go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, on its way to a top speed exceeding 125 mph. Unfortunately, Volkswagen’s best-laid plans didn’t work out. Partly due to liability concerns, the GX3 was ultimately scrapped. The GX3 was meant to have a cost of $17,000.
4: The Super Combo – MEV TR1KE:
Although it’s not for everyone, it’s worth the effort. If you have the patience and the will to build your kit car, you’ll find that you can enjoy something new and refreshing. Your TR1KE can be set up to carry 235 horsepower using either the Suzuki or Yamaha crate engines included with the kit. Although that may seem like a lot to some, it is possible to build your MEV TR1KE if you have the funds.
5: The Classic Ravisher – Allard Clipper:
If you are going to buy a classic, then this could be your choice as a 3 wheel lover. Although Allard, a fearsome V8 sportscar manufacturer from Putney, isn’t as well-known as it was in the 1950s competition, Allard, just like its English counterparts AC, Bond, and Reliant, tried its hand in the growing microcar market in 1953-55 with its odd Clipper.
The tiny Villers 8PS (6kW), 346cc engine powers the Clipper 3 Wheeler. It runs through one rear wheel. The model sold just 20 Clippers, proving the old saying that you should stick with what you know. In Allard’s case, this was a hairy-chested sportscars-powered American-sourced V8 engine. IMO, it would have been one of the best American classic cars if it had the fourth wheel.
6: The Bubbly Ride – BMW Isetta:
The Isetta “bubble car” is perhaps the most famous and distinctive post-war three-wheeler microcar. It was created by Renzo Rivolta, an Italian white goods manufacturer. He launched it under the ISO brand name. Later, he went on to create expensive and sought-after GTs like the ISO Grifo, and Lele.
The Isetta was a tiny, clever egg-shaped machine with a front-hinged, pivoting steering wheel-carrying door and a single seat. This strange bubble car helped to save the Bavarian firm from bankruptcy and to grow into the success story that it is today.
Morgan-style Isettas had two wheels in front and one behind. For taxation and stability, a pair of very close-coupled tires were placed at the rear. The last examples were built in Brighton, UK. BMC’s 1959 Mini was the end of the safer and more versatile bubble car format. Ironically, BMW bought the rights to Mini production and brand in the following decades.
7: The Exquisite One – Honda 3R–C
Honda’s roots are firmly established in motorcycles so it’s not surprising that Honda has been experimenting with three-wheeled cars’ for years. However, one has yet to be made available to car-buyers.
Honda’s XXXX concept was displayed at the 1983 Tokyo Motor Show. It is a single-seater with a side-tilting canopy and a small motor that drives the front pair.
It was followed by the Honda 3R-C in 2010, another bizarre single-occupant prototype with electric motor power. The handlebars are shaped like a Star Wars stormtrooper uniform and the driver’s head is positioned out of the white plastic canopy.
8: The Benz Supremacy – Mercedes-Benz F300 Life Jet
This Mercedes 800kg concept can tackle bends with an angle of up 30 degrees by using a hydraulic corner leaning system controlled computer-controlled by ATC (Active Tilt Control). The F300 was powered by a 1.6-liter petrol motor borrowed from the Mercedes-Benz A160 production model. It reached 130mph and accommodated two people in its tandem open canopy cockpit. This is wrapped in an advanced double-skinned aluminum space frame shell. It was a prototype.