The T-Rex is a crazy machine that will scare some but thrill others
The T-Rex is a crazy machine that will scare some but thrill others. In terms of handling, a three-wheeler will never be a dynamic match for a four-wheeled car. However, the T-Rex is well engineered and very fast – although it does have a hefty price tag.
Naming a car after one of the most dangerous creatures ever to roam the earth may seem a strange idea, but then the T-Rex is no normal motor – in fact, it’s a three-wheeled trike with a fearsome bite.
Combining the engine and gearbox from a Kawasaki sports bike with a bespoke chassis has surely created one of the wackiest road vehicles you can buy... and we’ve driven it!
The inventors claim it offers all the thrills of motorcycling, but in a safer and ever so slightly more practical package. And once you clamber into the curved bucketseat, the T-Rex’s bike origins are clear to see. The Kawasaki’s instrument binnacle has been transferred straight across, while the gearlever gives you control over a six-speed sequential motorcycle transmission.
Although the conventional steering wheel and pedal set-up seem familiar, with a single chain-driven rear wheel – plus 190bhp in a vehicle that weighs only 430kg – there is nothing normal about the driving experience.
On the move, the motorbike technology is far easier to use. To change gear, you simply lift off the throttle and pull the lever back to upshift. The clutch is required for downshifts, but on the wet roads of our test track, it was the throttle which needed the greatest care. In any gear up to fourth, even the slightest over-exuberance got the rear wheel spinning, and tailslides were all too easily created.
Quick movement with the steering is essential to correct the T-Rex, and to make fast progress you need the kind of skills required to control a sports bike or racing car. Our model had a 1,200cc engine (final versions will get a 1,400cc unit), and acceleration was awesome, even with the lesser motor. The brakes proved powerful, and despite lacking ABS, did not lock up too easily.
Crucially, the car is well engineered and built. It looks like nothing else on the road – in fact, short of a T-Rex itself walking down the high street, nothing will attract more stares from passers-by than this amazing trike.