China’s SAIC Automotive, one of the biggest manufacturers in the country, has been letting its design team stretch out on some fun and futuristic projects through its SAIC Design studio. This one caught our eye: the R RYZR, an open-air 4-wheel EV focused on making drivers feel very much a part of the environment.
It’s pretty out there alright; the R RYZR has two narrow hubless wheels at the front, with curved-profile tires similar to what you’d see on a motorcycle. At the back, there’s two much fatter wheels placed almost side by side. As the tire profiles suggest, this thing’s designed to lean into corners like a motorcycle, and that always bumps up the fun factor.
There’s no roof per se, just an arched spine running back from the open front of the vehicle back to blade-like covers at the rear. The driver and passenger seats are suspended precariously behind the front wheels, with nice big holes behind the footrests for you to stick your boots in and turn your feet into road crayons if that’s your jam.
The steering apparatus has no mechanical connection to the wheels; it’s all electronic. And it’s mounted on an arm extending from the middle of the car that can be swiveled across over to the other side. So you can push the wheel over into your passenger’s hands if you want a particularly dramatic end to an argument, or if you need to really dedicate both hands to the nostril you’re picking.
Then again, nostrils might be tough to access. The driver in these renders is wearing a full-face helmet, as befits the way this car totally exposes its occupants to the elements. Oh, and you’ll need to wear that snazzy white jacket too, because that, apparently, is your ignition key.
Of course, it’s never going to be sold. There’s a small market for weird little “experience” vehicles like this, and it’s currently served by things like the Polaris Slingshot. But the slingshot’s a trike, a fact that sets it free from a lot of road safety regulations in the USA. The R RYZR is a blue-sky concept whose chief goal is to develop and stretch design talent, and personally, I reckon it looks terrific in that context.
Check out a bunch more shots in the gallery, or enjoy a closer look in the video below. Man, renders are starting to get frighteningly good.
2022 Saic R RYZR Concept – Blurring the boundaries between a bike and a car
Source: SAIC Design