Concept Trike from the Los Angeles Auto Show
Photos provided by Volkswagen
Things like “single-sided swingarm” and “chain-driven final drive” are words often associated with motorcycles. But the Volkswagen GX3 is no such thing. Or is it? Designed by Moonraker and VW’s Design Center—both located in California—the GX3 attempts to be a “crossover between sports car and motorcycle.”
Passenger and driver (rider?) sit side-by-side, are belted in with five-point harnesses and have the safety of aluminum rollbars. The single rear tire measures a gigantor-like 315/30-18 and with a paltry claimed weight of 1257 pounds, the GX3 might need all that rubber to assist in the traction department. Pair the lightweight steel space-frame clad with fiberglass body panels up to the 1.6-liter, inline-four from the German market Lupo GTI and you’ve got a light and nimble little package. The 125-horsepower engine resides behind the occupants, and gear ratios are adjusted through a standard H-pattern six-speed gearbox. And yes, the final drive is via chain. Claimed 0-62.5 mph time is 5.7 seconds, so it’s no Superbike beater, but for an estimated $17,000, it’s pretty good for a car!
Front suspension is standard auto fare—double wishbone and coil-over dampers—while the rear end is pretty much all motorcycle, with its aluminum swingarm and single, coil-over damper. One final non-motorcycle like attribute is the 80-liter storage compartment. Instead of a crossover vehicle, could the GX3 be considered a three-wheeled sport tourer?
Length: 147.8 in.
Width: 72.8 in.
Height: 47.6 in.
Track: 64.2 in.
Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
Ground clearance: 5.1/3.5 in. (empty/loaded)
Weight: approximately 1257 lb.
Engine: 1.6 liter, transverse inline-Four
Power: 125 hp @ 6500 rpm/112.5 ft-lb. @ 3000 rpm
Fuel mileage: 46 mpg
Transmission: six-speed manual
Final drive: chain
Suspension f/r: Dual wishbone, coil-over damper/Aluminum single-sided swingarm, single coil-over damper
Tires f/r: 215/45-17; 315-30-18
0-62.5 mph: 5.7 seconds
Lateral acceleration: 1.25 g
Top Speed: 125 mph
Source: Cycle World