The 11 Most Ambitious Leaning Cars
Stay tilted, my friends.
Styled like a suppository and named like one of George Foreman's electric grills, the Lean Machine gets a mention for both showing up in Demolition Man, and for being immortalized as a Hot Wheels. Powered initially by a 15-horsepower two-banger, this single seater is about efficiency, not speed.
Designed in Holland, the One’s is a two-section affair. The rear, which contains a 660cc turbocharged four-cylinder engine, remains fized to the road on two small wheels. The larger front heels over like a sportbike – except that it's fully enclosed from the elements.
Like the Carver, the Clever prototype has a fixed rear powered section and a tilting front. The name is an acronym, breaking apart into Compact Low Emission Vehicle For Urban Transport (um, ”CLEVUR”? O.K. then...) that runs on compressed natural gas, claiming an incredible 188 mpg.
Ever wish your taxicab could thread through the jams like a motorbike? That's the idea behind the ultra-light Naro, a four-wheeled tilt-a-taxi under development by Prodrive.
Part Ariel Atom, part Morgan three-wheeler, the LifeJet heels over thanks to its front articulating suspension and active tilt control. Also, has the face of one of Gru's Minions.
This slimmed down EV from Nissan may be thought of as a sport of compressed Leaf. Set up as a tandem seater to thread through traffic, the Land Glider has a top speed of 75 mph and heels over by as much as 17 degrees thanks to front wheels that can shift fore and aft.
A follow up to the Clever, BMW's Simple looks like somebody lopped the cockpit of a stealth fighter. The single cylinder engine running on compressed natural gas gives Isetta-like performance figures.
Basically a Tron lightbike equipped with retractable landing gear, the MonoTracer carves up corners like an enclosed motorbike because that's what it is. At slower speeds, the outriggers come down to prevent you falling over. And with a 200-hp all-electric powertrain, it's extremely quick.
Following the tracks laid down by the LifeJet, the Daimler Carver can shift its wheels for the ideal cornering camber every time. A lightweight roadster powered by a 3.2-liter V-6, it's a relatively stripped-down driving experience. Still, this concept ended up lending some tech to the S-Class coupe: this was Merc’s mule for active body control suspension.
A sort of scooter wearing a hat, this little enclosed rickshaw has a designation like a fax machine and pure utility in mind. The horsepower rating of 9.12 is pretty much all you need to know.
The ultra-compact i-Road is a single-seater EV ideally adapted for Japan's dense metropolitan areas. Sliding front suspension makes it slice into a corner like a skier. Which is handy, because it's so narrow as to fall over otherwise. Still at the prototype level, the i-Road probably makes the most sense of any tilting car, as it's half the size of a Smart fortwo.