Triggo's Variable Width Makes It a Lane-Splitting Car

You may or may not recall a little battery-powered electric quadricycle from Renault called Twizy. The tiny vehicle is still on sale on certain markets, though there was no rush to buy the thing despite the apparent immediate appeal.
Triggo 5 photos
Photo: Triggo
The idea behind it was to create the perfect urban runabout, a marriage between cars and motorcycles. You were supposed to get the best of both worlds, but instead, you ended up with the opposite. The Twizy was meant to wiz through traffic like a bike while keeping the driver and optional passenger sitting tightly in their car-like seats, seatbelt fastened and all.

That was the theory. Even a short drive in the Twizy would instantly reveal why the quadricycle never took off. For one thing, there were no windows. Optionally, you could fit some made of plastic foil, there would still be plenty of gaps. Air, rain, dust and mud would all fight for a spot inside the Twizy. Then there was the ride quality, which was awful; and unlike a motorcycle where you could stand to cushion a bump, here you couldn't. But you could live with all this if the Twizy could actually weave through traffic, but the moment you tried it, you realized its width was just large enough to prevent you from lane splitting. Add a very limited range and it all built toward a pretty useless package.

A Polish company, however, recognized there was nothing wrong with the idea behind the Twizy, so it decided to improve it. And improve it they did. Meet the Triggo, a vehicle that's both a two-seat car (with a tandem setup) and a fully covered motorcycle. Just not at the same time.

Triggo's party trick is its ability to go from 148 cm wide (58.2") to 86 cm (33.8") on the go. It can do that thanks to a variable chassis which changes the width of the front track between the two settings. The width of the rear track, on the other hand, is fixed. Power comes from two 10 kW motors - total output is reduced to 15 kW due to class restrictions - and the replaceable battery has a total capacity of 8 kWh.

Any stability worries will be quelled by Triggo's ability to lean into corners. Instead of the natural tendency generated by the centrifugal force, this little EV will lean in the same direction as the one it turns into, making it completely safe. Besides, the narrow track option has a speed limit. Anything above 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and the Triggo reverts to its full width. We imagine there's a way to lock the vehicle into its narrow form or limit the speed, otherwise you'd have to really watch your speed while lane splitting or risk a very embarrassing and expensive situation when stretching the front wheels with a Bentley on your left and a Rolls-Royce on your right.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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