The standard BRP
Can-Am Spyder Roadster itself is quite an unusual
vehicle. There's only a handful of production tricycles
on the market, and it's one of them. But when you add
in a high-performance hybrid drivetrain, some additional
aerodynamic bodywork (clear wheel covers), and a fancy
paintjob, it becomes an even stranger vehicle.
The BRP Can-Am Spyder Hybrid project isn't cheap though.
It's being jointly funded by the Automotive Partnership
Canada program and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).
The BRP / Université de Sherbrooke Advanced Technology
Centre (CTA), a research and development facility in partnership
with the University of Sherbrooke, has received $11.3
million (Canadian) in financial support to develop new
hybrid engine technology for BRP's Can-Am Spyder roadster.
The Can-Am Spyder Hybrid project is being led by Professor
Alain Desrochers from the Universite de Sherbrooke's Mechanical
Engineering Department and includes about 30 people from
both the University and BRP. The team will need to use
original and creative engineering solutions during the
development of the new drivetrain. The vehicle's compact
size alone brings up unique challenges. Rather than modifying
existing hybrid technology, the researchers will have
to design an entirely new propulsion system.
"Creating a three-wheel vehicle as opposed to
a hybrid car poses significant design challenges that
require a very high degree of innovation," said
professor Desrochers. "These challenges include
the lack of space to accommodate hybrid motorization,
cooling problems, aerodynamics, vehicle weight, and noise.
Everything must be studied and modified."
The BRP Can-Am Spyder Hybrid project will need to pass
several tests covering performance, reliability, durability,
and economic mass production viability. It's highly possible
that whatever hybrid technology is developed through the
program, it'll make it into a variety of production vehicles
in the future.
Similar and related vehicles:
- Bombadier Embrio
- Segway Centaur
- Peugeot Quark
- Lazareth Quadrazuma
- Daihatsu Trek