Tuk Tuk Three Wheeler Testing For American Market
Regular readers should know by now that Autoblog Green will say nice things about anything that it considers "green enough." But as chic as it may be at the moment, the "green at all costs" posture has its downsides, particularly when you end up saying that the demise of the Bajaj three-wheeler is "unfortunate." Then again, maybe there really is something to be said for third-world three wheelers, because now ABG is all thrilled about the prospect of another pedicab special, this time from Thai firm Tuk Tuk, hitting the US market. The Tuk Tuk is currently undergoing EPA and NHTSA testing to see if the mainstay of Bangkok's taxi industry is ready for U.S. sales. And yes, for those who must know, the two-stroke engine which gave the Tuk Tuk it's goofy name is staying in the developing world where it belongs, to be replaced for American duty by either a 200cc or 650cc liquid-cooled four-stroke. It will be offered in a variety of body styles, for passenger, cargo or truck duty. The three-wheeled oddity may even be offered with an LPG drivetrain, which is sure to have the eco-friendly ice cream vendors lined up around the block.
I see a major problem with this thing - North American weather is different than Thailand's. Imagine trying to drive a three wheeled wheelbarrow through Maine snow, Seattle rain, Florida wind, or Louisiana water. Outside of the desert states, and maybe a few others, these things will forever be seasonal tourist attractions.
Isn't it "cute" to name a vehicle after the sound it makes? According to my Newfoundland dog, General Motors should change their name to Squeek Squeek Rattle Stench. While sitting with her on the grass near the entrance to a parking lot at a mall (waiting on Mrs. who'd gone shopping) a couple of summers ago, my Newfie kept on "glaring" and "starting". So being a car guy, I started to take note of what she was doing, and what cars alarmed her. They were all General Motors products. Every one. And I mean, virtually every GM product which slowed down to go into the parking lot, she'd glare at. I started laughing. She was merely more confused. Now, a Newfoundland dog doesn't go by visuals. She didn't glare more at a Pontiac Aztek than Corvette. She glared at them both. Their dog brains fundamentally go with smells and sounds. Not forgetting food and affection, too. (Not necessarily in that order!)
WOW do opinions really count when they have no knowledge about the comment left. The Tuk Tuk for everyones information is: Almost as big as a Ford Ranger Truck Able to reach traffic speeds with the traffic Equal in tow and load capacity of a 1/2 ton truck Able to turn corners at normal speeds Is not a ATC or handle like the ATC Lowered center of gravity, tires are DOT approved, handles like your car. Really more could be said but why, uneducated opinions are un-educated at this time due to never seeing, or drivng any such vehicle like this. Well lets ask James Bond what he thinks or Citibank since they have and are being used in several advertising promos and James really knows how to drive one. Now lets just get to business about giving something new a chance. You will see the Tuk Tuk fit into our way of life as easy as a grilled cheese burger. !!!!! Or would you rather experiance traffic delays and congestion with your non- fuel efficient tank being slowed down by golf carts in the way. Just something to think about.?????
Having driven three-wheelers (Piaggio Ape) up to 40 mph - no thanks. I prefer my wheels to come in multiples of twos. If they want to sell a TukTuk here then sell it with four wheels. Not much difference in weight if done right. Piaggio eventually started offering four wheelers and I drove them several times. MUCH nicer handling and the weight did not increase too much. Downside: worse ride b/c now there were four wheels finding bumps instead of three. Believe me - those Apes (say ah-pey) were tippy as heck and a friend got hurt after rolling one at 20+ mph. I had several two wheeled moments myself. I'm all for tiny transport where appropriate! We need to get off the Arab oil teat!