Yes, I've seen a couple in person. Very spartan! I like them. They needed better aerodynamics, but are a fascinating starting point.
Cars and Coffee
by Tyler Linner, Intergalactic Man of Mystery
, on Flickr
This looks to be one with the top half removed. Component placement is not bad. From other photos, it appears to have swing-arm suspension up front.
Dynamic Stability of Three-Wheeled Vehicles in Automotive-Type Applications
Thanks Neil. Perhaps I can stack them all in the nose to counter my body weight and control the Cg. This will take some more work.
The single front wheel layout naturally oversteers and the single rear wheel layout naturally understeers. Because some degree of understeer is preferred in consumer vehicles, the single rear wheel layout has the advantage with the lay driver.
I do not consider myself a "lay driver"- that seems to better suit the soccer mom in her Lexus. I can handle oversteer, but this makes up my mind-
A braking turn tends to destabilize a single front wheel vehicle, whereas an accelerating turn tends to destabilize a single rear wheel vehicle.
Braking and turning (emergency evasive maneuvers) are paramount. That is the one time that I absolutely, positively do not want to overturn the vehicle. Since it will have a very low power-to-weight ratio there should not be an issue with acceleration destabilization.
As far as rollover stability I think I am on the right track. Logically, a longer wheelbase will be more stable and so will a lower center of gravity. The third point they make is a wider front track for stability but since I am trying for a small frontal area (narrow track) the other two will take precedent.
I'm still trying to figure out what kind of angle the front wheels should be capable of without articulating the fender skirts in gentle turns. Something about tangent angles on circles...
I'm printing out a blueprint of the car in hopes of making another scale model. I have a small (~1/18) wooden model and a larger plaster rough of my earlier concept but want a 1/10 scale plaster mock-up to hold in my hand. This is almost as much a styling exercise as an engineering one for me, at least at this point, so the physical form is important. It has to look attractive, fast and professional. I don't want someone to walk up to it and say, "ohh, that's cute! What a nice toy," like they did of the Peel P50 and HMV Freeway.
Lots of rambling!