A car for grampa, yee ha!
The new Maverick X3 boasts features that read like poetry for petrol heads
GOING on current trends, I expect most of my smarter grandchildren will scoff at the very idea of owning a car.
All that depreciation! All that looking for parking! And especially all that parking!
Instead, they will hop onto a version of the small robot buses being tested around the world (five at the last count) or rideshare an electric scooter similar to the ones Gogoro is testing with Coup in Berlin, Germany.
But I do hope there will be at least one grandchild who takes after his ole grandpappy, with a yen to be barely in control of a powerful conveyance while trying to chase down the horizon.
It is for rebel grandchildren like these that Valene Motors built the Black Mamba, a roll cage bolted to a threewheeled, electric supercar that does zero to 100 km/h in 4,2 seconds and whips around corners too.
My problem as a futuristic granddad is this powerful trike has only two seats. Where to put the grandkiddies?
In the back seat of our new Maverick X3, says Can-Am, which recently released a four-seat version of its popular Maverick X3. Pretty this four-seater ain’t. In fact, it is so ugly it may just dethrone my beloved Fiat Multipla as the fugliest car ever. Can-Am calls this look an Ergo-Lok cockpit with “unmistakable, future-forward exterior design”.
Basically, its a light, strong race car built on the principles Gordon Murray predicts as the future of car making — start with a solid roll cage, bolt on your choice of off-the-shelf drivetrains, suspension and seats, and add personalised steering. Windscreens and cladding for the cage to keep out the elements are optional and — frankly — a bit sissy. If you want to avoid the weather, take one of those robot buses.
The off-the-shelf goodies Can-Am chose for the X3 four-seater include a new turbo-charged and intercooled Rotax Ace engine that jumps the car in under five seconds from zero to 100 km/h. A small QRS-X continuously variable gearbox keeps the revs in the optimum range and a four-link TTX suspension with about a foot of travel keeps the rubber aimed at the ground, however far down it may be. When the X3 does land, class-beating Fox 3.0 Podium RC2 HPG shocks “are special enough to star in their own studio photo”, says Can-Am.
Other boasts read like poetry for petrol heads — unparalleled power transfer, virtually no bump steer, precise steering response and no turbo lag — everything a super car promises. But the real beauty of pipe cars like the X3 is their price — some R386 833 before taxes and Zumasparked depreciations to the rand. Even Neil Woolridge Motorsport, where they build the racing Ford Ranger bakkies in Pietermaritzburg, will be hard pressed to beat this price.
Both the Can Am Maverick X3 two- and four-seaters have the exceptional class-beating Fox 3.0 Podium RC2 HPG shocks to ensure suspension that will enable grandads to take the kiddies for a jump (inset).