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2005 T-Rex


by Michel Deslauriers ,

A breath of fresh air (if you can catch it)

2005 T-Rex (Photo: Michel Deslauriers, Auto123)
Imagine blasting to 100 km/h from a standstill in only 4.2 seconds. We're talking about Corvette Z06, Dodge Viper and Porsche 911 Turbo performance. Yet none of these supercars can offer the exhilaration of such acceleration in an open-air cockpit.

Behold the T-Rex, a mighty machine that's been around for about 10 years now. What? This thing is ten years old?

Of course, owners of super sport bikes will tell you that this level of performance is normally achieved with their steel horses, but the T-Rex is a different breed of vehicle. You can consider it to be halfway between a sports car and a sports bike. Well, at least that's how I consider it.

Gaining speed is so fierce in the T-Rex, virtually squashing you in your sport seat, that I did not regret having lunch after my ride in it, rather than before. Top speed is said to be around 225 km/h, which is more than enough.

2005 T-Rex (Photo: Michel Deslauriers)
That's for straight-line speed. When the twisties approach, as well as slower-moving cars (read: all of them), the T-Rex can turn and corner like no other: a manufacturer's claim of 1.9 g in cornering force. How could I measure this? Forget it, I can't. But I've never changed lanes or thrusted down highway off-ramps so quickly in my life. Forget about the dime, this baby turns on a pinhead.

I unfortunately wasn't driving, not because I didn't want to. I was desperately willing to flash my motorcycle driver's license to any T-Rex staffer, but the press conference we were invited to was a ride-only opportunity. I wasn't disappointed, however, once we took off, because I definitely would not have the guts to wring out the full potential of the T-Rex on this brief drive, like the factory pilot did while yawning.

He indicates how to slide into the cockpit of the vehicle, and as I'm fiddling with the safety belt, he tells me to forget about it. "I'm not wearing mine. Nobody does." That was one mistake I will never do again. I think this guy gets his kicks out of scaring the hell out of passengers...

2005 T-Rex (Photo: Michel Deslauriers, Auto123)
As we blast off, I have the impression that we're being shot out of a cannon. The T-Rex is powered by a Kawasaki 1,200 cc motorcycle engine and mechanicals, but weighs only 410 kg (900 lbs). As you're sitting a few inches off the ground in a roll cage, you can practically stretch out your arm and sandblast your fingernails on the spinning 205/45ZR16 front tires. Propulsion is assured by one very large 315/35ZR17 rear tire. The transmission is a 6-speed sequential transmission with reverse, and there is a clutch pedal in the small footwell.
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