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If you take pre-war racing Morgans as inspiration, and contemporary racing sidecars and other high performance trikes as ‘proof of concept’, the question to ask could be; Why ever not?
PRACTICAL USABLE EXCITEMENT
The Zero delivers the excitement of a bike with greater comfort, more sociability and reverse gear! Light and elemental, the Zero involves you with the driving experience, evoking the delights of vintage sports car motoring in a thoroughly contemporary way.
Light, compact and reduced to essentials the Zero evokes the purposefulness of a big bike, a fighter plane or sports racing car. Its character and individuality leave in no doubt that its form has been dictated by function.
Its HAMMERHEAD layout puts the drive, the power, a large proportion of the weight and roll stiffness at the front where it belongs. Single rear wheel drive trikes too often display alarming characteristics where the rear threatens and can overwhelm in a variety of ways.
With the Zero, the planted bit of the car does the work, the rear trails obediently and faithfully contributing the least possible weight and an absolute minimum of roll effect and weight transference from the rear. Result; an ultra compact car that is instantly responsive, lightly loaded and tremendously quick as it unlocks the maximum potential of its comparatively modest powerplant.
Its worth bearing in mind however just how much power can be liberated from the VW flat four and the bang for the buck available from this light, plentiful and stout donor engine.
NOT YOUR ‘AVERAGE’ SPORTS CAR
The Zero delivers a visceral motoring experience, a sensation conspicuous by its absence, in the contemporary “sports car”. Bikers will understand this. But it delivers it with comfort and security. Bikers will appreciate this!
What makes a sports car? Aside from looking good it must offer elevated levels of performance and an involving driving experience. The Zero delivers brilliantly on all counts, the sum well beyond its economical collection of parts. The difference between the Zero (and the Avion) and lesser trikes is engineering. Performance, like quality, has been designed in, rather than added on. Nothing is wasted, compromises are minimal.
‘SIMPLIFICATE’ AND ADD LIGHTNESS
Colin Chapman’s famous dictum surely applies here. The Zero is an expression of automotive efficiency, a sporting vehicle reduced to essentials with driving enjoyment the aim. While the fit and finish are impeccable, nothing is permitted to burden the Zero with excess, or dull the driving experience.
A 360 degree fibre glass tub with reinforced bulkheads is underpinned and clamped by a multitube chassis. Light weight with stiffness is the result and the Zero’s responsive acceleration, cornering and braking will be a revelation to drivers used to more more flabby, or indeed, flimsy, products.
Front suspension is via fabricated tubular wishbones and modified Golf GTI uprights, acted on by AVO adjustable coil over damper units. A dedicated swing arm is used at the rear with an AVO adjustable coil over damper unit. Braking is well taken care of by VW 260mm cross-drilled discs and four piston 'Hi-Spec' alloy calipers at the front and at the rear a Golf GTi disc with Bendix alloy caliper. These purpose made and carefully selected components ensure low unsprung weight and fine balance.
A BULLET PROOF DRIVE TRAIN
VW’s legendary type 1 air cooled flat four was selected for its relatively light weight, simplicity, availability and vast range of tuning options. It’s magnesium cased 4 speed gearbox is equally well served by after market options. In the Zero application this well proven and durable powertrain is used back to front, by the well established expedient of moving the crownwheel to the other side of the differential.
VW drivetrain options including 5 speeds and a limited slip diff are available, thus the builder has access to relatively low cost options ranging from the relaxing to the frenetic, with torque characteristics better suited to the car than those offered by air cooled motor cycle engines.
The torquey nature of the VW engine means that the Zero, while every inch a performance machine, is more enjoyable to drive than some of its highly stressed rivals. Combine the planted nature of its front wheel drive layout, with 2.5 turn lock to lock rack and pinion steering and quick, accurate responses from the pedals and you have a faithful and reassuring drive. Bags of torque and instant response, it delivers performance you can enjoy.
The cockpit is a pleasing place to be too, with complete instrumentation, 12 inch steering wheel and controls that fall logically and easily to hand. Deep sides that you climb over, (no doors to compromise rigidity) and an available tonneau, plus heater vents, make the cockpit quite cosy. A storage locker in the front scuttle area and a surprisingly roomy area behind the seats will swallow enough luggage for (well organized) touring.
BLACKJACK QUALITY IS DESIGNED IN
Precision production tooling and straight to the point design means there is absolute consistency and quality in every Zero component, which means that you can depend on your Blackjack trike for quality, reliability and faithful performance.