For years, designers have dreamed of creating a vehicle with the driving appeal of a motorcycle and the enclosed safety of a car, and one of the earliest attempts, the Ford Gyron, was a two-wheeled gyrocar first unveiled way back in 1961 as a concept car.
Though the configuration was something like a motorcycle, the vehicle was stabilized by gyroscopes.
Two occupants were seated side by side and when the vehicle was stationary, two small outriggers appeared from the sides to support it. Though there was never any intention to produce the Gyron, designer Alex Tremulis used gyroscopic systems based on Louis Brennan’s theories.
Ford Motor Company gave credit for the Gyron to Brennan.
Tremulis began his career working for the US Air Force and numbered among his projects a plan to build a “military flying saucer.” Tremulis was also the chief designer for the far-ahead of its time Tucker automobile before he joined Ford.
Tremulis went on to design concepts for Ford which included the “Tuscan Gyroscopic Motorcycle” and the Gyronaught XU1 gyroscopic car.
Now Lit Motors of San Francisco, lead by designer and engineer Daniel Kim, says they have the first production 2-seat vehicle combining the efficiency and freedom of a motorcycle with the safety of a car.
“We’re trying to open up safety to a huge market of 200 million motorcyclists daily in the world. We have a huge market, and I think we could have a lot of impact” says Kim.
The C1 features an electronically-controlled gyroscopic stabilizing system to keep it upright when stopped or at low speeds, and company says it will remain upright even in a side-impact collision.
A variety of battery packs provide a full-charge range of from 150 to 200 miles after a 4 to 6 hour juice-up.
According to Lit, the C1 depends on electric hub high-performance Remy HVH motors to drive both wheels.
The company also says the C1 uses KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), a technology which transfers energy normally lost during braking to deliver power back to the drivetrain when the vehicle is accelerating.
Lit says the top speed of the C1 should be around 120 mph…