Last year, I took a thrill ride in the petrol-powered Vanderhall Venice. There isn’t any other kind of ride you can take in a Vanderhall. It made me eager to feel more rushing breeze in the startup company’s latest reverse trike, the Edison, with its hushed electric power train.
The Edison wraps its composite body around a rigid, lightweight aluminum frame, with two drive wheels up front and a single rear wheel attached with a motorcycle-style swing arm. A pair of electric motors sends 134 kilowatts (180 horsepower) to those front tires, juiced by a 30-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. That’s roughly half the battery capacity of a Chevy Bolt or a Tesla, but the Edison has a claimed curb weight of just 645 kilograms (1,400 pounds).
Vanderhall claims a 4-second squirt from 0 to 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour, a sticky 0.95 g’s of lateral grip, and an entirely respectable 320-km (200-mile) driving range. Top speed is 170 km/h (105 mph). And with the Vanderhall’s open roof and ground-hugging shape—you can touch the pavement when you’re sitting inside—you’ll feel like you’re going 120 mph when you’re only doing 80. You know, like a motorcycle, but without having to wonder what it would be like to feel your helmeted head sliding along the pavement.
Vanderhall hopes to begin selling the Edison, hand-built in Provo, Utah, in the second quarter of 2018 for US $34,950 to start, roughly the price of a Mazda Miata or a bare-bones Tesla Model 3. Take one look and guess which of those cars will be the most fun.