Technically speaking, all automobiles are essentially same! An automobile is a machine that has an engine, some wheels and a body that transfers a person from one place to another. But we can't write-off automobile segregation that easily, can we? It may very well be one of the most diversified genre around the globe of any product. And this is where motorcycles and cars come into play.
While a motorcycle has essentially been a two-wheeled machine with a smaller capacity engine, a car is a four-wheeled machine that has bigger capacity engines to transport more number of people as compared to a motorcycle. While both these categories are different altogether, sometimes they both cross the path and the result produced is something of an engineering wonder.
And hence we came up with the idea to search such 5 vehicles who are a brilliant combination of a motorcycle and a car. Here is a list of top 5 cars with motorcycle engines. While some are production cars, others are one-offs or boutique items
1. Ariel Atom 500 V8
Consider this - only 25 of the Areil Atom 500 V8 were made and each one priced at around $225,000, and every piece sold as quickly as it can be. But what's so special about this car? Well, to start with, the 600 kg car is powered by the Suzuki Hayabusa engine, not one but two. Hartley Engineering built a 3.0 litre V8 unit specifically for the Ariel Atom by mating two Hayabusa engines together.
And the performance is out of the world to say the least! Ariel Atom does 0-100 in 2.3 seconds thanks to the 500 hp mill and revs upto 10,500 rpm. Specifications include dry sump lubrication, forged internals, individual throttle bodies and sequential injection. This motorcycle engine powered car is the one of the fastest road legal cars you can ever get your hands on and anything faster requires a racing license.
2. Motus RCR
Motus is a famous all-American sport-touring bike manufacturer who are known mainly for the MST and MSTR bike powered by a “Baby Block” 1650cc pushrod V-4 unit. The engine is nothing but a small-block Chevy V-8 cut in half. So we can say that, although essentially a motorcycle manufacturer, Motus has its fair share of dealing with cars. And this is why they decided to build a Motus RCR.
Motus collaborated with Michigan-based Race Car Replicas to utilize the engine in a replica of a 1958 Ferrari F1 car. It only took four weeks to assemble this car before it was transported to the Austin, Texas and the Circuit of the Americas track for the MotoGP race on April 2014. The car stunned everyone present with the roar of the engine and left many desiring to buy this one-off car with the combination of classic F1 styling and character-rich Motus engine.
3. Volkswagen XL Sport
Volkswagen is the latest entrant in the motorcycle-car hybrid scene. Volkswagen some time back showcased the limited-production XL1 powered by a diesel hybrid unit and was taken hands-on due to the ultimate mileage it produced. And then Volkwagen purchased the Ducati Superbikes, which to many trade pundits was a disastrous move, though, Volkswagen didn't take the move as a disaster.
Infact, the very first move by VW after acquiring Ducatiw as to replace the diesel-hybrid powertrain in XL1 by a Ducati Panigale motor in the XL which made its debut at the 2014 Paris Autoshow. The XL hence got a 197 hp V-Twin from the 1199 Panigale Superleggera and sitting at 960 kg only, the car had a drag coefficient of 0.258. This meant that the XL can hit 0-100 kmph in 5.7 seconds with an estimated top speed of 270 kmph. VW also restyled the car to make it look less science experiment and more sportscar, updating it with paddle shifters, sport suspension and ceramic brakes along the way. It’s too bad this is only a concept.
4. BMW i3 with Range Extender
Not many people expect mainstream companies like BMW to manufacturer unconventional cars and specially electric cars because as much as four-wheeler markets are technologically advanced, two-wheeler electric markets are not. BMW launched its i3 EV car powered entirely by batteries which sends power to the rear wheels to move the car. But the i3 is good only for some 130 km on pure battery power. And this is why BMW offers a range extender to reduce the anxiety of the buyers.
What is a Range Extender? Range Extender is basically a 647cc twin engine which normally powers the C 650 GT BMW scooter. So what Range Extender does is extend the range of the batteries from 130 km to 370km if used. At no point does it actually drive the wheels and is only used when i3 goes out of juice from the conventional batteries powering the EV.
5. Radical SR1
We earlier saw what a Suzuki Hayabusa engine can actually do if integrated into a car in the aforementioned Ariel Atom 500 V8. And not only that, the Suzuki Hayabusa engine has long been a popular candidate for transplanting into car applications. But none has been able to utilize the engine for racing applications, as the UK based outfit Radical did. They have taken the ‘Busa engine and built an entire bespoke race car around it called the SR1.
Built to resemble a miniature Le Mans prototype racer, the SR1 is actually Radical’s entry-level racing car. The SR1 claims to have a top speed of 300 kmph and able to attain a cornering G-force of 2.3, thanks to the 185 hp motor. The power is sent via the six-speed paddle shifters. In the UK, Radical has a dedicated series for the SR1, with aspiring racers piloting identical SR1s while getting comprehensive training and coaching through the entire eight-race season. And how much the car costs? Roughly $57,000, a relative steal we would say!