Described as a middle vehicle between a car and a bike that would, in theory, feel like riding an airplane, the AKO Trike comes with a proprietary, patent-pending mechanism that would allow it to lean by up to 30 degrees upon turns, when traveling at higher speeds. At lower speeds, turning the wheel turns the front wheels of the Trike, but there is no titling motion.
“[The mechanism] is based on pure mechanics and allows the vehicle to lean by simply tilting the steering shaft and in cases of lower speeds you can simply rotate the steering wheel just like in any regular car and the vehicle will steer normally,” AKO’s Jurgis Lecas explains for the NewAtlas. “It's pretty damn unique, I mean only seven people has ever driven such vehicle and one of them is me. It is like a spaceship. On wheels.”
The AKO feels like a spaceship on wheels because it’s also fast: the designers say the 140-kW motor would deliver a top speed of 240 kph (149 mph). On the down side, they also think that top speed will be limited electronically in Europe, so peak torque would be at about 600-700 Nm (442-516 lb-ft).
“A true market disruptor, completely redefining the vehicle segment between motorcycles & cars,” AKO says on the official website. “A vehicle that introduces a new type of maneuverability as it is capable of leaning into curves as well as simply steering at lower speeds. Enabling the rider to experience something breathtaking & extremely fun while at the same time providing essential features for a daily urban ride.”
Those essential features include plenty of space inside a “capsule” for rider and passenger, with the passenger riding in the back, and even some cargo space. The capsule provides protection from the elements and, one would assume, also in case of the worst-case-scenario of a roll-over crash. It also offers all-around visibility. Safety is paramount, so the AKO Trike comes with front and side airbags, and four-point seat belts. After all, this is a trike that’s meant to go as fast as real motorcycles and cars.
Weighing 450 kg (992 pounds), the Trike will come with a 26kWh battery that will provide an estimated 300 km (186-mile) range. Based on these specs (but not on the estimated top speed), the AKO Trike would qualify as an L5e vehicle, which means a driver’s license could be needed to operate it.
Add another luxurious feature to that list: the price tag. Since the project is still very much in development and the final prototype isn’t even done yet, no details on pricing have been made public, but the same media outlet notes that one such Trike could retail for anything between €20,000 and €24,000, which is roughly $21,640 and $26,000.
If true, that’s just $10K, give or take a few bucks, short of a Harley-Davidson LiveWire but with more of a range and a somewhat dorkier / futuristic (depending on who you ask) look.