American motor company, Lit Motors, has developed a “Motorbike-car” which is a, well, a ‘hybrid’ of a car and a motorbike – or the other way around. One of the most futuristic motor vehicle designs in the recent decades, the Lit C-1 is a two-wheeler ‘encased’ in the aerodynamic designs of a car.
In a world of traffic congestion, increasing carbon emission and depletion of fossil fuels, the Lit C-1 just might be a small – but significant answer. The vehicle has two-wheels – one front and other rear and encased in what looks like the cockpit of a small sport aircraft shorn of its tail and wings. In other words, the Lit C-1 promises the driver (or ‘rider’?) the safety and feel of a car but with the freedom and ease only a motorbike can give.
The “motorbike car” is an incredibly striking creation as much for its designs as for the technology that went into the vehicle. The vehicle is expected to cost around $25,000 and what pundits are saying is that the sleek – if too cute too – ‘bike-car’ would be ready in the market by year 2014 or so.
Aside from its incredibly unique design and concept, one selling point that the manufacturers are already touting is the Lit C-1’s ability to stay upright – even when in motion or at a standstill. The motorbike-car has in-wheel electric motors that boasts of an output of 54hp (40kW) which is ‘watched closely’ by a set of powerful gyroscopes.’ Hence, the vehicle cannot tip over, or so that is what the designers are claiming.
Here is the central feature of the C-1: The two-wheeler has electronic gyroscopes that keep the vehicle perfectly balanced and upright – even at a standstill or slow speed. In other words, a person need not have the balancing ability that goes into, say, riding a motorbike or a bicycle but can drive the “Lit C-1 Motorbike Car.”
The Lit C-1’s incredible balancing feature is attributed to a set of gyroscopes built-into the floor of the vehicle. The gyroscopes spin rapidly – about 12,000rpm – in response to electronic sensors to keep the vehicle balanced at all times.
The Lit C-1 can run about 200 miles (321 km/h) from a single charge of its 8kWh battery pack. Its top speed is over 120 mph (193 km/h), the manufacturers say.
The prototype of the Lit C-1 has only a single seat but there are reports that once the vehicle goes to market, another seat, for “a friend” would be incorporated in to the design.
The “motorbike-car has a basic dashboard with what looks like two dials – a speedometer and a fuel gauge, perhaps. Then there is the square-ish steering wheel for the ‘motorbike.’
Some news sites are reporting that the “motorbike car” would be out in the market in the US by 2014. In fact preorders for the Lit C-1 are already being taken on Lit’s website for about two hundred dollars, it is reported.