Posted on: Apr 23, 2013
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Three-Wheeled Cars: Campagna T-Rex

The T-Rex is one of the few examples of a three-wheeled car that isn’t a horrible little economy car, and for that we are all quite thankful.
This Canadian vehicle is the fastest and most expensive three-wheeled car in the world. A much more serious and focused machine than even Morgan’s pricey retro offering (more on that later), the vehicles from Campagna are unlike any others on the road. This is because, unlike the European three-wheelers, those made in North America aren’t designed to exploit some sort of complicated loophole, but are focused purely on driving enjoyment. Which makes it just our kind of vehicle.

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The T-Rex is often referred to as a "cycle car" rather than a three-wheeler, although it could hardly be argued that it doesn’t have three wheels. The big difference really seems to be that the majority of three- wheelers are built as low-cost alternatives to regular cars which retain as much utility as possible which would have been lost in a switch to a motorcycle. But the T-Rex, like its stablemate the V13R, is built for fun, without much in the way of practicality. A distinction also has to be made between this and a motorcycle-based "trike". With its two wheels at the front and side-by-side seating, the T-Rex's layout is different from that of a trike.
More importantly (and depending on location), neither helmet nor motorcycle license is required to operate a T-Rex. But realistically speaking, the two offer about the same levels of practicality and the target markets are fairly similar. Alongside the T-Rex in the Campagna lineup sits the V13R, an open-top roadster with a 122-horsepower Harley-Davidson engine. This vehicle is much more similar to the Morgan in terms of orientation and price. But the T-Rex takes the whole concept quite a bit further. There is a roof, sort of, and a bit more bodywork in general, although it is still quite minimalist.
The T-Rex is powered by a Kawasaki motorbike engine displacing 1400cc and producing 197 horsepower (though there's also a new BMW-powered version). The vehicle weighs just 1040 lbs, more than 300 lbs lighter than an Ariel Atom, thanks to the subtraction of a wheel. It can do 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 144 mph. It even gets about 30 mpg, better than what's normal for a car that can get to 60 in less than 4 seconds. Price, as with the Morgan, is something of an unpleasant subject. The V13R starts at $56,000 and the T-Rex starts at $60,000 (although Campagna's material doesn't specify if that's US or Canadian).
A Morgan Three Wheeler will set you back more than $50,000, and certain versions of the Atom run into the six figures. The T-Rex is really no more difficult a purchase to justify than any of these others, and actually comes with a pair of saddle bags which might not offer a huge amount of space, but do at least make an effort. The T-Rex has actually been in production since 1995, which is almost unfortunate, as it means that all of the hype over the return of the Morgan Three Wheeler meant that huge numbers of people had been overlooking this vehicle for more than a decade.


by Jacob Joseph
Three-Wheeled Cars: Campagna T-Rex