With all of the recent interest in the Piaggio MP3 and other tilting three wheelers, I thought I would revisit the Aprilia Magnet, a design project from a couple of years ago that never went beyond the concept stage but, to me, looks better than many of the more recent attempts to create a vehicle of this type. The design is the creation of Heikki Naulapää, a Finnish designer now working in Helsinki. The Aprilia Magnet was his degree project for the Royal College of Art. The Magnet went from sketches and Photoshop to 3D software, then a model was built for the Royal College of Art show in 2004 where it won "Best Design Project."
The Aprilia Magnet was designed to have a Formula 1 driving position, the lean of a motorcycle and a half outside feeling with the exposed seating. Power was to come from either a 550cc Aprilia V-twin engine or alternatively, electricity driving the electro magnetic drive system at each wheel, the source of the name "Magnet." It was designed to carry either one or two people and if you look at the images, you can imagine the feeling of driving this along a road filled with high speed sweeping curves. I think it would be a fantastic sensation.
If you have never seen this before you may wish to stop at his site and browse through the many images of the concept including photos of the completed model. It looks good, really good, and some of the companies thinking about tilting three wheelers these days should give Heikki a call and see about building this.
Link: Heikki Naulapää's site - link inctive
More images below: