Three-Wheel Passenger Vehicle Stability and Handling 820140

Eight 3-wheel passenger vehicles of both one-front and one-rear wheel configurations were tested and compared to similar-sized 4-wheel vehicles. The tests produced measures of overturn resistance, oversteer/understeer, transient responses to control and external disturbance inputs, and braking performance and stability. A comparison was also made of a 4- to 3-wheel conversion, and the effects of various handling modifications were evaluated. The results indicate that a properly engineered 3-wheel car can be made as stable as a properly engineered 4-wheel car, although the single front wheel configuration may be less stable in limit maneuvers.


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