Strange Vehicles > SUB G1 3-Wheeler


The SUB G1 is a 3 wheeled sports vehicle which was first unveiled in April 2005. SUB is a small company based in Southern California run by three design professionals with impressive resumes, and between them the skills to design, model, engineer, and construct, high quality production machines like the SUB G1.

The G1 is a development of a similar concept vehicle (the 1up) created by one of the group, Niki Smart, years earlier. Smart, along with Jay Brett, an industrial designer with experience in constructing concept vehicles for films, and Nick Mynott, a digital modeller with experience in race and concept car construction, decided to develop an attractive, single seat, high performance sports vehicle, specifically designed for entertaining handling and extreme fun.

SUB G1 3 Wheeler side view

SUB G1 3 Wheeler interior
So far, three SUB G1's have been built and handed over to their owners, 2 in the US and one in the UK, and each has covered over 1000 miles, with no problems.

One of the most noticeable features of the G1 is the outstanding build quality and level of professionalism visible in the overall design. Each part, down to the nuts and bolts, has been well thought out and made to fit with the finished product. By using computer models, the team was able to digitally create and adjust components before manufacturing, therefore reducing costs and unforeseen construction problems.

Power for the SUB G1 comes from a 1000cc Suzuki V-Twin taken from the Suzuki TL1000R sportsbike. The group had originally envisaged an inline 4 cylinder taken from the Yamaha R1, however early on in the mockup stages the group realised they would run into some packaging issues which would upset the 50/50 weight distribution, and the layout they wanted. The Suzuki V-twin fits perfectly, and is mounted to the right of the driver in its own compartment. Developing 135 horsepower and 105 Nm of torque, the engine is force-fed by the noticeable snorkel sitting above the bodywork. Transmission is handled by a 6 speed sequential gearbox connected to the rear wheel by a chain. Current prototypes have no reverse at the moment. But then again, if you're to lazy to get out and push the diminutive G1 a couple yards it's probably not your type of vehicle. The instrument gauges also come from Suzuki, and the cutoff sports steering wheel can be removed to ease entry and exit - while also providing a simple security device, if you take it with you.

The 3 wheeled layout of the G1 has several advantages over the conventional 4 wheel layout. Firstly the yaw response time, (the time taken to achieve a steady state-state of cornering after a quick steering input) is around 0.10 seconds for a well designed 3 wheeler, but 0.15 seconds for a comparable 4 wheel sports car. But perhaps more importantly, having only three wheels and an overall weight less than 1,500 lbs (680 kgs) (the G1 weighs 727 lbs (330 kg) by the way) the vehicle falls under the designation of a motorcycle. This means the SUB G1 is not bound by the same regulations as a normal sports car, regulations which often impede performance. And as a further bonus the G1 is cleared for use in car pool lanes at all times.

As a further show of their uncompromising design and construction skills, the SUB G1 team decided to use motorcycle tires. Unfortunately there were no ready made wheels available with the required offset so custom units had to be fabricated. The chosen solution. A forged wheel face mounted to a rolled wheel band, all nicely powder coated and pin striped, wrapped with Avon tires usually reserved for custom cruisers.

Limited to a production run of 25, each of the cars delivered to date has been customised to fit the buyer, accommodating sizes, so far, up to 6' 8".

For further information on the SUB G1, and details on prices, ordering, specifications etc. And a full rundown of the design process with a large selection of high resolution photographs, head over to the company's official website.

Image Gallery

SUB G1 3 wheel car

SUB G1 3 Wheeler

SUB G1 3 Wheeler

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