These French are nuts. If you needed any further proof of that, just have a look at this crazy spider-like contraption called the Swincar. Part ATV, part dune buggy, and whole lunacy, the Swincar is built to tackle almost any terrain you can throw at it.
We have seen personal mobility vehicles that can tilt, like the Monotracer. We have seen independent suspension on a lot of modern sportscars. We have seen offroad vehicles like the Ariel Nomad. And yet, the Swincar takes the game to a whole different level. This, by far, looks like the most capable off road machine in the world.
Created by a company called Mecanroc, the Swincar looks more like the skeleton of a racer like the KTM X-Bow than a fully built machine. But it is, and it works.
The driver is suspended in a cage which is connected to the wheels by independent suspension all round. They can tilt independent of each other too, thus giving it a capability that other ATVs cant even dare to think of. And this allows the driver to remain upright and perfectly balanced no matter the angle of the vehicle; as if he were riding a pendulum. Rounding curves, that mass naturally swings outward, and a simple linkage causes the wheels to lean in the same direction, like two motorcycles riding side-by-side through a turn.
It steers and brakes on all four wheels too, thanks to a hydraulically actuated 4-wheel steering system. That ought to make it nimble, giving each wheel more flexibility to deal with undulating terrain.
Finally, there’s the powertrain, the unit that drives this whole shebang. Actually, make it units, because, each wheel on the Swincar has its own motor, either 1 or 1.5 kW at this point, driven from a battery pack under the driver’s legs that stores 2, 4 or 6 kWh depending on specifications. So against the average sporting ATV this early Swincar is a low-powered vehicle, but moving to more powerful motors and larger batteries wouldn’t be difficult.
There are a few hiccups, though. The extensive use of aluminum in primary components may not have the rugged reliability needed for high-impact trails, and the ground clearance appears to be extremely limited.
That said, there’s quite nothing like it when it comes to demolishing the rural countryside. Mecanroc claims that the Swincar can successfully travel up and down 70 percent grades, and move across grades of 50 percent. That’s more than enough information for us to lust after one.
The manufacturer hopes to make the Swincar commercially available by the end of this year, and are currently looking for investors, distributors and industrial partners to join their efforts.