Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Four Wheel Velomobile and Aero Tests

Four Wheel Velomobile and Aero Tests

Velomobiel finally provided news on their four-wheel velomobile development project. First, the name is changing from Quest 4 wheel or Q4W to the name Quattro.  The name Quattro was used for the original four-wheel velomobile designed by Miles Kingsbury that was the inspiration for the project.  Miles gave them permission to use the name but there is still a possibility that the German carmaker Audi may still object to the use of the name that was synonymous with the 4WD models of that manufacturer, not to mention the Wordmark.
Original Quattro velomobile by Myles Kingsbury
New Quattro by
The plug has been shipped to the Romanian factory to be prepared to make the mold for production.  Work is already underway but the first unit will not be ready for Spezi next month to the disappointment of many.  There is still a lot of work to be done and work will shift on producing the internal components including Wheel wells, chain tunnels, etc.  After the bodywork is complete, the task of making the drive components, finish the electrical system, direction, seat, etc.  Allert indicated that the new velomobile should make its grand entrance at Cycle Vision.
The Quattro plug
The Quattro will certainly open a new class of velomobile that provide a bit more room while retaining good aerodynamic performance.   The special retro look with cat-eyes reminiscent of the first Batmobile will attract some. 
Batmobile and Quattro seem to have eyes in common

There is still a lot we do not know about this velomobile first, there are no published specs.  II is not clear how it will compare from a speed and acceleration performance point of view but Allert already demonstrated on his prototype that the handling performance will be improved over the Quest.  Velomobiel has not indicated what will be the weight of the finished velomobile but the larger size and additional mechanical component will certainly have a significant impact that could translate easily into a 5kg penalty.  If the components like the swingarm and boom are made of aluminum versus carbon fiber, this will impact weight along with the extra wheel, beefier suspension, the introduction of the differential and since it will have a 20in wheel at the rear it will probably equipped with a mid-drive.


Daniel continues the testing of his aerodynamic improvements he recently designed for the DF.  Daniel calls the modified velomobile the first of a new velomobile class called the XLR. Last weekend he went to Elfershausen to test the wheel pants and the tail extension.  While he has not provided details, he appears pleased with the results.  He still claims that the DF with aerodynamic enhancements will be the fastest production velomobile.  Apparently the first tests of the extended tail were successful and confirmed a significant improvement in aerodynamic performance.  He performed the tests with Richard Dähne, the current world champion and his Evo-K.  The wheel pants were also installed on the Evo-Ks (shown below) but could not be road tested because the suspension was too soft to ride with the pants on!

Evo-Ks with Wheel Pants

Daniel mentioned that there may be a version made of the pants and tail for everyday use… stay tuned.

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