Monday, May 18, 2009

Lumeneo Smera goes on sale in France


Lumeneo Smera, an incredibly cool tilting car/scooter/motorcycle from France...
Pics: Lumeneo, via AutoblogGreen

Built in France, the Lumeneo Smera is one of those electric four-wheeled thingies that tilt like a motorcycle but also offer the weather protection of a car. First shown at the Geneva Motor Show last year, this incredibly cool four-wheeled scooter (car? motorcycle?) is now on sale in France for 24,500 euros (about US$33,000).

Daniel Moulene and Thierry Moulene started work on this four-wheeled car-scooter hybrid back in 2003 and were ready with the first prototypes in 2004. Their company, Lumeneo, was formed in 2006 and the Smera has been undergoing testing since 2007.

The Smera is powered by twin 15Kw electric motors that are fed by a Lithium-ion battery pack. According to information available on the Lumeneo website, these electric motors produce 1,000Nm of torque (!), which is channeled to the rear wheels via belt drive. The vehicle, which weighs 350 kilos, has a range of 150km on one full charge, will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 8 seconds and has a top speed of 130km/h.

More than the performance figures, the most interesting about the Lumeneo Smera is its electronically-controlled tilting mechanism. While cornering, the Smera’s on-board computers automatically figure out the optimum lean angle and electric motors handle the actual tilting, without the driver having to worry about maintaining balance. The Smera does it all by itself…

It’s certainly not inexpensive but the Smera certainly looks like it should be a lot of fun to ride/drive. More information on the Lumeneo website here


A video of the Lumeneo Smera in action

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