T-Rex Engine and Performance
Something has to make squeezing into the low, tiny T-Rex worth the effort. In this case, it's the powerful engine that's mounted behind the driver's seat.
The T-Rex is powered by a 1.4-liter, DOHC, inline four-cylinder motorcycle engine. The engine comes from the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14, one of the fastest production motorcycles in the world. In this application, the ZX-14 engine puts out 197 horsepower -- the same as a Honda Civic Si sport sedan -- but in a body that weighs just over 1,000 pounds (453.6 kilograms). Combine that with an 11,000 RPM redline and you've got a three-wheeler that can do zero to 60 miles per hour (96.6 kilometers per hour) in just four seconds. That's fast by almost anyone's definition [source: Jacquot].
As motorcycle-like as it is, there are some car elements too. It has a steering wheel, three pedals, and a stick-shift transmission. (Automatic transmission users need not apply here.) However, unlike a car, it uses the Kawasaki's six-speed sequential transmission, meaning the driver has to shift through each gear one at a time, just like a bike. It also has all the gauges you would expect on either machine, like a speedometer, tachometer and a fuel gauge just to name a few. Campagna claims a quarter-mile (.4 kilometers) time of about 12 seconds and lateral acceleration of 1.3 g, which is much more than most high-end performance cars.
So how does it drive? It's incredibly fast, not so comfortable, and requires constant attention to keep it from flying off the road. It's also downright terrifying. Its small size means your head might bump into someone else's side mirror. But the truth is, the T-Rex is one of the most hardcore performance machines you can buy.
On the next page, we'll look at competitors to the T-Rex, and find out if this three-wheeled monster is worth your hard-earned cash.