What is it?
The Campagna T-Rex 14R three-wheeler is not a car as we know it. In fact, in Canada, where it’s built, it’s registered as a motorcycle. The design has been around for over a decade now, taking on the name Campagna when the Canadian firm bought the rights in 2008.
Hand-built at its Montreal factory, the T-Rex sits on a 1.5-inch tubular steel chassis covered with fiberglass panels. Mounted behind the driver is a 1352cc engine and six-speed transmission taken from a Kawasaki ZZR1400, with a retro-fitted reverse gear. The three-wheeler employs a double wishbone set-up at the front and a traditional motorcycle-style swingarm at the rear end.
What's it like?
The T-Rex is seriously quick. Pop the clutch at 5000rpm and you will pierce the 60mph barrier in 3.9sec. That’s supercar territory. And it’s seriously edgy too, especially in first and second, with a fine line between grip and grief. Deviate aggressively from your chosen line at anything over 5000rpm and you had better be ready for some tail-happy antics.
The perspective from the driver’s seat is as close to a Formula 1 car as you can get in a road-going vehicle. Sitting inches from the road, and with a marginally covered cockpit, every sound is amplified, every driver action more critical than in any car we’ve ever driven, and at no time can you relax.
There is no power steering, no brake assistance, no traction control, no airbags, no audio and no air conditioning. The fact that you can see the suspension arms reacting to every road imperfection only enriches the driving experience.
The T-Rex is as pure as any machine on the road today. It’s nearly as fast as a Nissan GT-R from rest to 60mph but is less than half the weight of a Mazda MX-5. That gives it an awesome power-to-weight ratio.
Should I buy one?
Most people will never use more than half of the T-Rex’s potential on the road. On a track you can approach its limits, but you’ll still need F1 driver-like skills to get anywhere near them.
For those that crave the rush of bungee jumping, the T-Rex delivers comparable on-road thrills. Just make sure you know your limits.