Crazy Crossbreed

  • Paul Meyers

It is nearly impossible to classify a two-seat, three-wheel vehicle with no doors and a motorcycle engine, but there is a name for it: the T-Rex. Campagna Motors, a boutique auto/bike builder based in Montreal, is responsible for the creation and distribution of this eccentric speed machine. Conceptually blending the most extreme aspects of motorbikes and shifter karts for the open road, the three-wheel design allows passengers to sit side-by-side even though the $50,000 trike is technically recognized and registered as a motorcycle. And thanks to its Kawasaki-sourced 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine—which sends an impressive 197 hp to the rear wheel—the T-Rex performs like a motorcycle, too. Campagna claims that the three-wheeler reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and carries on to a top speed of 144 mph.

Although California state law does not require drivers to have a motorcycle license to operate, it is essential for all passengers to wear helmets on public streets and freeways for protection against potential debris. Ultimately, the T-Rex is more about extreme performance, so its real benefits stand out on a closed-track circuit. Its body panels are constructed completely of fiberglass (keeping the weight down to roughly 1,000 pounds) and its manual-shifting six-speed transmission feels like it belongs on a motorbike even though it is positioned in the same way as a sports car. As a visual reminder of the T-Rex’s impressive handling abilities, the front suspension’s coil-over springs are completely exposed—a lateral acceleration of more than 1g is possible without the slightest hint of understeer. Similar to a Lotus Exige, the trike requires yoga-like flexibility to slide into the seats, but the slight struggle is worth it for those who need to feel connected to road in a way that modern motorcars simply cannot emulate. The T-Rex is so connected the road, in fact, that the driver can literally touch the tarmac from the cockpit. Try to classify that experience. (877.641.2112, www.campagnamotors.com)

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