Thoughts on my three-wheel vehicle project

For a while now, I’ve been planning a tadpole (also known as reverse trike) three-wheel vehicle that would have tandem seating, an enclosed cabin, and would achieve 156+ miles per US gallon on the highway by using a diesel engine.

I’ve even bought a 654 cc twin-cylinder Ruggerini diesel engine for this project. Here’s the problem though.

That diesel will get me in the ballpark of 16-20 hp. While that will be more than enough to achieve cruising speed, 16 hp won’t get me acceptable acceleration, and even 20 hp will be painful. In addition, the driveline will be rather long, due to having the transmission behind the engine (and a fair distance away to avoid fouling the oil filter), and then the rear wheel behind that.

So, my question to you is… should I abandon the diesel route, and go to a 300 cc single-cylinder fuel injected gasoline engine from a scooter (which means CVT)? Continue reading “Thoughts on my three-wheel vehicle project”