For the past couple of years, a Virginia-based company known as Tanom Motors has vowed to build the Invader, a reverse trike powered by the buzzing four-cylinder engine from a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle tuned for 197 hp. For the upcoming SEMA show, Tanom says it will show two new versions: an open-roof variety and a special "Red Rocker" edition signed for some reason by Sammy Hagar. It's the Tony Stark of vehicle companies, trying to run before it can walk.
Like a Morgan Three-Wheeler redesigned for use in a video game, the Tanom Invader puts all of its power to the ground through one massive 18-inch rear wheel. Tanom says the Invader can hit 60 mph in less than four seconds, and combines the thrill of open-air motoring with the controls of a car -- although like the Morgan Three-Wheeler, its drivers are exposed enough to raise the question of whether helmets should be standard equipment.
The Sammy Hagar versions -- limited, of course, to 55 copies -- will get their own paint scheme, special interior and a signed plaque for an undisclosed premium to the Invader's starting price of $49,995. That's a lot of dollar for a reverse trike, especially one that lacks the retro charm of the Morgan. It's also the second time Tanom has attempted to launch the car; back in 2010, it unveiled its model lineup as Talon Motors, vowing production in 2011. Even with a Hayabusa motor in your back, it can be hard for a small vehicle builder to get going.
- Sammy Hagar