Oh no. Not yet another three wheel design. (sigh).
$10,000 for something with no cargo or passenger capability? 50mph top speed. An envirowacko/govt-bureaucrat's dream. And like the EV it will never sell in enough numbers to be profitable. A 50cc scooter and rain gear costs a fraction of $10,000 and is more practical.
I'd bet that BMW is getting huge subsidies from the EU to produce this turkey.
The crash test portion of the article mentioned passenger as well as driver safety, although is certainly looks as though it would be pretty cramped. Its a shame that it only has enough horse power to go 50 mph, as it looks like a pretty neat toy.
Maybe if they put their 650 motor into it, or one of their sport engines, it would be more worth the price. I'd still rather see the VW concept come to production than this, since I can appreciate a sports car as much as a motorcycle.
Sorry to say, but in the U.S. this won't sell much. Too big a change from current cars crowding the roads. At the very least, it has to go 75 without straining itself. The best market in the U.S. is commuters looking to save big on fuel $ without feeling like they're in something the other cars will crush if they can't see it or it's too slow.
Rush hour on my road (Rt. 7 in VA near Winchester/Berryville) is pretty cutthroat and fast, with a fairly steep mountain. It has lots of traffic heading to the Washington D.C. area in the morning. If you get in the way, unable to go more than 40-50 up the hill, you'll be made to feel like you're about to be flicked off like some annoying booger. And just wait until a massive 18-wheeler parks it's slab of a chrome bumper a couple of feet behind you... I don't care who you are, that's going to be pretty unnerving.
Whatever other uses besides commuting BMW might envision marketing towards won't generate many sales. Economics has pushed the suburbs farther away from the concentrated areas of employment, making the typical commute a longer highway drive, instead of an intracity hop (where this would be much more suited).
While I applaud anyone trying new designs, and aiming towards fuel efficiency, the practical reality of American driving dictates a more gradual change in this direction.
Two-wheeled vehicles are more fun, and four-wheeled vehicles are more stable.
Leaving off the fourth wheel doesn't save that much weight or expense, and in the case of BMW's three-wheeler and the Carver, there's actually more weight and expense. You could build a lightweight four-wheeled vehicle that got equal fuel mileage.
It does seem like the safety benefits are there; there's really something to be said for getting pretty close to a motorcycle and still having something that crumples before you hit the ground. I have to agree with the enviro-wacko-crat comment though- the Prius actually sells because it's a real car that happens to be more environmentally friendly, whereas this fails on most counts to be a motorcycle while being friendly. I also agree with the sentiment about three wheels- my general experience with anything on three wheels is that you *think* it's considerably more stable than it actually is, so you try to have fun on it like it has two but just wind up scaring yourself silly.