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2009 Campagna Motors T-Rex 1400R Preview


by Luc Gagné ,

Boucherville, Quebec -- As young kids, we gain new mobility and a fun extension to our legs by straddling a tricycle. Then comes the bicycle and the inevitable falls and tears. Years later, some will trade it for a powerful motorcycle… and spectacular plunges!

The 2009 T-Rex 1400R is a no-compromise vehicle that shares many similarities with a modern Lotus Elise.

Meanwhile, other two-footed grown-ups will seek a cross between performance, control and stability, meaning an alternative with at least one additional wheel. Want to know what a motorized trike feels like? Say hello to the T-Rex!

Labeled as a "Quebec-style Ferrari" by its manufacturer Campagna Motors, the 2009 T-Rex 1400R is a no-compromise vehicle that shares many similarities with a modern Lotus Elise -- with three wheels instead of four, obviously!

The analogy couldn’t be more perfect, as Daniel Campagna, creator of the original T-Rex, fulfilled a dream once cherished by Lotus founder Colin Chapman. The latter wanted to design a 1980s Lotus Super Seven with only three wheels and a motorcycle engine. However, for Chapman, it remained just that -- a dream.

One could also liken the T-Rex to a Citroën 2cv… with a twist. It’s a minimalist vehicle for sure, yet it’s so much more than an umbrella on four wheels. Think of it as a chassis with a potent engine. After all, the creator of this trike was initially against the idea of wrapping the tubular structure in a dinosaur-like body (the movie "Jurassic Park" was released at about the same time) before showing it to the world at the 1994 Montreal International Auto Show.

An enthusiast’s car

Fifteen years have gone by since the metallic T-Rex first appeared on the scene. Today, a legion of faithful followers from Canada as well as the U.S. and other foreign markets has embraced the little monster. Most of them are former bikers who appreciate its exhilarating power, as evidenced by the acceleration time of just 4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h.

How is that possible? For one, the T-Rex boasts an incredible power-to-weight ratio. With roughly 200 horsepower at your disposal to launch this 500-kilogram piece of metal and composite, there’s plenty you can do, especially when the massive rear tire bites the asphalt! witnessed its capabilities first-hand during a brief testing session organized by Campagna Motors on July 10. The event had the makings of a festival and gathered customers, suppliers, investors and friends of the company. We were able to experience what it’s like to ride the 2009 version of this classic.

Roughly 200hp at your disposal to launch this 500Kg. piece of metal and composite, there’s plenty you can do.
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