3-wheeler bike or a car that leans?

'Like flying a jet fighter two feet off the ground' say manufacturers

VentureOne is like "flying a jet fighter two feet off the ground," says Los Angeles-based Venture Vehicles, creator of the 3-wheel, tilting hybrid.

Though classified as a motorcycle, the two-passenger VentureOne is claimed more than 30 times safer than a 'normal' two-wheeler, according to its manufacturers.

The company will produce three versions: The base Venture E50 and higher performing Venture Q100 have a series hybrid drivetrain with plug-in capability, while the Venture EV will be all-electric.

All three versions will use Carver Engineering's DVC (Dynamic Vehicle Control) system, which allows the passenger compartment and the front wheel to automatically tilt up to 45 degrees side-to-side at a rate of 85 degrees-per-second while cornering.

The hydro-mechanical system splits the driver's steering input into a front-wheel steering angle and a tilting chassis angle. The hybrid system uses a small rear-mounted gasoline engine to drive a generator, which in turn produces electricity that powers the vehicle's electric motors.

The claimed top speed for the 1,200 pound VentureOne is over 100 mph with acceleration pegged at 0-60 in 6 seconds.

While the VentureOne does carry a motorcycle classification because of a three wheel configuration, it's quite unlike a motorcycle because it has a fully enclosed body; features include a reinforced steel safety cell, front and side impact protection, three-point driver and passenger restraints, driver's airbag, rear bumper, engine shield, collapsible steering column, safety glass, and digital traction control. A front-wheel capture collar transfers the energy of a front impact to the welded moly-steel frame.

Prices will range from $18,000 (£8900) for the E50 to $23,000 (£11,300) for the EV model. The company says that deliveries are expected to start sometime in 2008.