T-REX maker Campagna Motors has just added an upscale, six-cylinder GT model to its lineup. The BMW-powered T-REX 16S is designed to challenge roadster-type luxury sports cars.
The Quebec-based company has been on a roll since a 2009 decision by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec
(SAAQ) to allow Class 5 licence holders to drive three-wheel vehicles, such as the Can-Am Spyder, Harley-Davidson Tri Glide, and other custom motorcycles. However, the T-REX is the only one to offer an actual cockpit and car-like controls.
|Photo: Philippe Champoux
A bright future
A new alliance between Campagna Motors and BMW Motorrad
will drive the success of the T-REX 16S. Derived from the K1600GTL premium tourer, its compact engine's bore and stroke are nearly identical in size, which results in a lot more torque than the Kawasaki-sourced 1,400cc inline 4-cylinder engine that powers the current T-REX 14R
(the latter has wider pistons and a shorter stroke for superior top-end output).
Performance should be similar, except that the more linear power delivery will likely translate into much friendlier driving dynamics. As is the case on the motorcycle, the engine of the T-REX 16S is tilted forward to lower the centre of gravity. Tappets are used to reduce weight, friction, and maintenance.
BMW engineers have also worked extensively on the combustion process, cooling system, and transmission ratios in an effort to optimize overall performance while improving fuel economy.
Traction and tailor-made power
The T-REX 16S benefits from new rear geometry that maximizes tire grip under acceleration and in corners. The chassis now includes a bolted rear section that makes repair and maintenance easier.
Similar to the K1600GTL, the T-REX 16S features a drive-by-wire (electronically controlled) throttle, and offers three factory-programed riding modes that adjust throttle response, as well as power and torque delivery, to suit road conditions and driver preferences.
The “Rain” mode tones down the machine's behaviour at certain revs, while the “Road” mode provides 100% torque with progressive engine revving. Finally, the “Dynamic” mode unleashes all the fury, and allows you to get the most out of the powerplant.
No electronic aids
While these riding modes somewhat enhance safety, I am kind of shocked not to find traction or stability control on the T-REX 16S -- at a time when the vast majority of automobiles and a growing number of motorcycles are making these electronic aids standard.
Campagna Motors executives have shown genuine interest in traction control, but a lack of time and available resources has reportedly prevented them from integrating such a system on the T-REX 16S. Fear not, however: the K1600GTL already has one, along with ABS, and considering BMW's leadership on that particular front, it won't take long before the T-REX can take advantage of it.
Half-motorcycle, half-roadster, this three-wheeler is renowned for its acceleration, agility, and race car-like precision. The arrival of the new T-REX 16S grand tourer, which proves more comfortable and easier to exploit, can only boost fans' excitement and win over sports car lovers.
|Photo: Philippe Champoux