MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 12:33 pm
I am very stoked for the Aptera, but I do have some thoughts and concerns and ideas to address them.
My first concern, as with many of us, is that it’s just too wide. Admittedly it’s about as wide as my car at the mirrors, but mirrors are not at ground level and there are many obstacles my mirrors will clear that a wheel will not. My idea is 1+2 seating arrangement that will A) reduce the necessary width at the nose to have a more manageable 68-76″ front width B) improve passenger capacity without giving up too much passenger comfort C) give a more unique and driver focused seating position.
The slight angle of the passenger seats will allow for the maximum height of the car to be more focused along the central access, which should reduce the necessary frontal area while also maximizing headroom and legroom for all occupants. It maintains a curvature along the side of the vehicle which can be reinforced for better side impact performance. The sharper shape should also improve front overlap crash performance since more of the energy can go into deflecting the vehicle instead of stopping it. The more arrow like shape should also make ingress into the central driving position not that onerous, especially with good door design. I’m not sure about aerodynamic improvements over the original design, but I think it should be able to be optimized to be as good.
Downsides, you def can’t car camp 3 people in this comfortably. Folding the seats to have a flat load floor is going to be a design challenge. Cargo space would obviously have to be decreased if maintaining a similar length. Ride height/center of gravity would probably have to be reduced to compensate for the reduced front track width in order to maintain similar cornering stability which might affect aero efficiency, although the odds of a significant number of owners driving this 10/10ths is basically 0, just because I will huck my car around a corner way faster than 99% of people doesn’t mean that a design must be optimized for edge cases.
Some nice to haves would be rear wheel steering which would improve turning radius and high speed stability.
A fatter rear wheel with more power would also be cool, but that’s because I’m a hooligan.
Also a several kW inverter to run various appliances would be nice.
If the car is generating downforce from design, there are probably vortices forming at the corners of the rear edge that might be better managed with small downward facing winglets which will also look rad.
Some seat design ideas would be to look at the Koenigsegg Gemera and the segmented foam seat design, if adjustable lumbar support is not feasible, then having a replaceable foam cushion that sticks on with velcro would be an option. This would also allow for adjustment of seat bolstering that can be individualized at relatively low cost. This would also make the seats more breathable and possibly easier to plumb for ventilation.
UPTIS tires would eliminate flat tire concerns and also probably make mileage more consistent. Improperly pressurized tires are very common and affect handling, efficiency, and safety.
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 4:10 pm
I must say this is a very interesting concept and not without merit. I personally think the simplest 2nd vehicle is to lengthen the current design, slightly shorten the tail slightly (perhaps 0.15 drag coefficient as a result), stiffen the suspension and add a row of seats. This would allow the current design to share a lot of parts and make a coop to compete with family cars.
I don’t think a wider rear is a good idea as this adds complexity and airless tires are very inefficient drag coefficient. Rear wheel steering would really make suspension tricky. I’m also ignoring the inverter and seat points since it could go in any base design. The loss of in vehicle camping is negligible as bringing a tent makes more sense worth either vehicle;that vehicle tent is very “designed in California” – bugs and rain won’t go well. Fancy suspension with air or hydraulics could be another way to narrow when parking (expensive).
Regarding your design the pros in my opinion:
3rd seat (duh)
Narrow enough for europe
No need for switching driver sides for different markets
Similar or shorter than current Aptera
Worse stability due to narrower (moose test)
Worse aerodynamics due to turbulent air from wheels pods into body
Likely not compatible with kids car seat safety (big reason to have a 3rd seat)
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 4:58 pm
While this design might have been a consideration as an alternative first generation Aptera, although I still much prefer the version we have, I don’t see it at all as a second generation option. I strongly believe the second generation needs to be a 4-wheel vehicle that incorporates as many of the energy efficient design features as the first, with enough room for 4-5 passengers and a decent-sized boot to bring in a whole new set of buyers. Another 3-wheel definitely not the way to go in my opinion.
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 4:59 pm
Amend earlier…clearly your version is 4-wheel, but only 3 passenger!
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm
This is obviosly all theory but why 4 wheel? Is it for optics or do you think they won’t be can’t scale the current design into 2 rows?
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 6:49 pm
For one, I believe I actually heard Chris say something to that effect, and two, think it would appeal to wider audience. Do think it would be difficult to scale current design to an additional row of seats w/o greatly diminishing capacity of cargo area – one of most desirable features of SUVs.
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 3:17 am
I think the appeal of 3 wheel vehicles is that it avoids very onerous regulations since autocycles are much less regulated than cars. 3 wheels means that Aptera can use wing cameras instead of mirrors, not have bumpers, use adaptive headlights, and so on. The only reason Aptera can have such a short development cycle for their gen 1 vehicle is that they aren’t having to meet every car safety standard, even if the vehicle will exceed crash test requirements and all that. A 4 wheel vehicle would likely have development costs 5-10 times, possibly 100x, what a 3 wheeler would have for these reasons. Most global brands have vehicle platforms that they base most of their vehicles on and the development costs for those are often in $100 million to $1+ billion range.
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 3:37 am
Other problem is that reverse trikes have inherent balance issues if you load the rear end unevenly from side to side. Other other issue is that the Aptera as currently designed has a payload capacity of 500lbs, though I’m not sure if that’s the 100kW version. Most vehicle chassis have a base payload capacity that decreases as you add weight via options and all that, so I’d expect the 60kW version to have an increased payload. With two passengers that’s probably down to 200lbs, 3 50 lbs, 4 -100lbs. Increasing payload capacity is almost certainly going to come with an increase in tire size/reduction in efficiency.
MemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 12:24 pm
ADAPTIVE HEADLIGHTS: I’ve had that idea for a long time but did not have a name for it, the ability for the headlight to pivot left or right as the driver turns a corner. So many times I have gone to turn a corner in the dark, and can’t see where I’m headed.
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 3:46 am
I feel like an F1 or Le Mans team could design front wheel fairings that would not greatly negatively impact aero efficiency, so it’s probably just a matter of time and design to get the wake from the pods to flow over the rest of the vehicle efficiently.
A fatter rear tire would also allow more weight to be placed towards the rear, increasing the width by 50% on the rear would allow for an 57/43 weight distribution as opposed to a 66/34 and also likely increase payload capacity by ~200lbs. Losing weight off the front axle will likely improve steering response and handling, though in order to maintain cornering ability a lower CoG will be necessary, though that’s typically not a problem with BEVs. The real killer for cornering/turning is roll, if the CoG is at axle level or not too far above it, roll is not that big of a factor. With the lightweight body construction of the Aptera I expect a CoG of lower than 17″ is pretty feasible. I think as specced the tires are around a 24″ diameter, so the car would naturally corner pretty flat.
In terms of rear wheel steering, it would need at most maybe 5-7 degrees of turning angle. Swingarms with steering are already a well proven design in motorcycles, see BMW and Vyrus. Rear wheel steering would also aid in maneuvering stability at speed, a la the Moose Test.
MemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 12:48 pm
F1 people don’t care about air resistance. F1 is all about cornering speed, which means downforce.
Le Mans have enclosed wheels, because that’s what’s best for air resistance. And that’s why the Aptera should have had it too.
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 6:47 pm
Johnathan, to my point of view, to reduce drag and overall front nose including mirrow side by side extended today position, better option is a tandem seats, it will reduce the cargo space is obvious been reduced but no any other overall dimensions should be affected because designers will reduce with proportionally to the reduction of the passages ‘s seat, the body will be reinforced due less volumen, and wheels width can be reduced to fit any America either European specifications effortless, see the Elio Motor design, and will figure out what I am proposing, I guess even less drag than 0.13
Thanks for reading!
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 3:28 am
I think the big problem with tandem seating is that the rear passenger is almost always uncomfortable. To maintain a reasonable wheelbase the rear seat has to have very little legroom and so the straddle position is often what happens. Tandem seating also necessarily kills cargo capacity and makes the car less practical, I think making the car both practical and efficient is the balancing act.
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 9:10 pm
rear row people face the rear of car rather than foward as in normal car, allowing utilization of trunk storage space as legroom when all the space isnt used, also allowing access to rear stored stuff. this also excuses making car shorter car length b/c trunk space is usually not fully utilized, so lots of legroom most the time, also cabin airspace around the window height level between driver seat and passenger in normal car is cut off, so lower center of gravity and less cabin space to heat/cool so AC heater is quicker to work/more efficient (and that improves driving range too while making systems smaller in size thus cost). also allows 4 seater to look much more like a larger 2 seater coupe.weight is also much more in middle of car vs normal cars, so more of a mid engien driving experince especially if space between front row and rear is where heavist drivetrain stuff is like electric battery. b/c ridesharing is mostly with one customer only b/c people move alone most the time, tandem seat also allows rear row privacy in 2 seater car, and although people may want to be more social, they wont do much of that b/c driver is focused on driving anyway.
imagine looking at this concept car from teh side: the strunk storage part can stick out behind rear wheels similar to mc laren speedtail plus riversimple rasa, or maybe there is minimal stuff at rear and front, with highest point of cabin being right in middle of car.
cooling can be radiator body like aptera does or a vent slides open venting heat, especially at when air air flows higher pressure into car radiator and flows back out, possibly even looping air vertucally around the space in between front row and rear row where heavy hot part fo drivetrain sits ie. elctric battery
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 7:46 pm
this thread title is too vague, theres a lot that can be stuffed into here
but about narrowing cuurent 2 seater car:
first pic: elbows can be at passengers sides as naturally is yet width is less b/c his elbow or even shoulder/arm is behind driver.
2nd pic: aerodynamic narrowness, can be a thin roll out or clip in barrier between occupants so people dont touch each other if thats what they want (ridesharing, etc), removable for people who want to be close (like with wife)
3rd pic: vague idea of a caterpillar track type thing to decrease vertical space thus bring wheel closer to center of car. motor magnetisms changed so torque vantage comes from length of arrow, torque source is the circles (the circle wheel is wrong, but the one left of it is the idea).
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 7:51 pm
rear row people face the rear of car rather than foward as in normal car, allowing utilization of trunk storage space as legroom when all the space isnt used, also allowing access to rear stored stuff. this also excuses making car shorter car length b/c trunk space is usually not fully utilized, so lots of legroom most the time, also cabin airspace around the window height level is less, so lower center of gravity and less cabin space to heat/cool so AC heater is quicker to work/more efficient (and that improves driving range too while making systems smaller in size thus cost). also allows 4 seater to look much more like a larger 2 seater coupe. in 2 seater application, driver is in center of car and passenger is behind. in 4 seater, the passenger seat can be screwed and folded away by customer, and screw holes built in can allow driver to place driver seat in center of car, for more driving fun like gordon murray t.50 and czinger 21c, which includes less car width. weight is also much more in middle of car vs normal cars, so more of a mid engien driving experince especially if space between front row and rear is where heavist drivetrain stuff is like electric battery. b/c ridesharing is mostly with one customer only b/c people move alone most the time, tandem seat also allows rear row privacy in 2 seater car, and although people may want to be more social, they wont do much of that b/c driver is focused on driving anyway.
cooling can be radiator body like aptera does or a vent slides open venting heat, especially at when air air flows higher pressure into car radiator and flows back out, possibly even looping air vertucally around the space in between front row and rear row where heavy hot part fo drivetrain sits ie. elctric battery, sandy munroes “hydrogen laser cassete,” freepiston combustion battery, etc. electric drive is probably here to stay before big imporvements happen, its mainly the energy storage systems that ideally can be swapped in and out.
fan and wings areodyamics manipulation similar to gordon murray t50 may help shorten car when it gets narrower so its not too long for Gforces if nessesary.
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 7:46 pm
I thought of one more con to add to this otherwise well thought out idea. I believe air bag deployment would be difficult, if not, impossible for the 2 outboard rear seats.
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 3:19 am
Side curtain airbags and overhead airbags should be able to be deployed effectively I think.
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 8:42 pm
2 seaters can follow each other like train track cars in a train, or replace 4 seater or 6 seater, while allowing multiple drivers go their own way with a passenger and maybe some space, especially given most people drive alone with not much storage space being used most the time and b/c incresing need and want for both husband wife to go to work at different places at similar/same time plus grocery and other acitivty, software allow one car to follow another like traincar in train track, so 1 driver with 3 passenger, b/c both cars are powered,normal trailer driving style of slower braking and turning vs normal driving, is not needed…. all with computer programming. ridesharing is usually done for one customer at a time too given people move alone most the time.
or front end of f1 car, etc.
cabin moudle can adapt to rail with adapter or by sitting on rail train pad thats primarily designed for bus modules, detachable areo front. single cars drivetrain may also power bus module and work as freight truck (probably need a dedicated drivetrain chassis for busses and freight, maybe even for amazon delivery van/pickup truck level thing) bus moudle maybe even be economical for flight in drone cargo aircraft, and box shape can work to adap to cargo shipping container for cargo planes and cargo ships. drivetrain and trailer swaps by rent instead of vehicle switch for temporary uses (so people who buy big SUV for 1% of max storage space use times dont do that)
effiency in running cost payoff such maybe its even less cost over ownership time vs buying minivan or 4 seater, maybe 4 seater and 2 seater replaces minivan, etc.2 cheap two seaters with a app to make one of them auto follow the other like a train. this allows husband wife to goto different places at same time which is unfortunately becoming more common b/c rising cost of living. maybe teh cars can be efficiency optimized for city (lighter weight and more compact but less aerodynamics) except there could be a removable and/or folding front end areo foil similar to what freight trucks use in teh space above truck roof, covering the trailer.
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 8:53 pm
Out of the Box adaptations and thought.
Electronically &/or mechanically tethering two or more Aptera together.
Carpool Crazy. Long haul wonderful. Best of all worlds with ultimate flexibility.
Family travel & camping expeditions; different households together, with ultimate FREEDOM too!
Switch drivers as well as share battery life. Break off solo when suitable &/or when camping.
Innovative thought creates further inspiration.
QUESTION: Is innovation the art of hiding one’s (initial) inspiration(s)?
ANSWER: Of course. ALL innovation “starts” somewhere. Modify &/or adapt the seed(s) of inspiration; reap the benefits & outcome.
There’s something to say about your initial idea (adapted) vs. the necessity of new & larger platforms that may also dillute its overall branding & mojo.
Drafting (or slipstreaming) explained:
MemberNovember 6, 2021 at 9:03 pm
in 2 seats next to each other configuration: it would be great if interface and seat could be screwed into/slided toward the center of car with passenger seat folded away, for exceptional sportiness. it should be fairly easy given its all electric power steering, possibly for self driving. (like gordon murray t50). your 3 seater config is like nissan deltawing/speedtail/ScuderiaCameron Glickenhaus 008, but probably not worth it vs other designs i mentioned
MemberNovember 7, 2021 at 3:22 am
I think the problem with scooting the driver seat over is that the Aptera does use a central tunnel for some purpose or another, I’m guessing structural rigidity and battery storage. Any central driving position would require a full redesign of structural components.
MemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 3:42 pm
Monoposto/”Bearcat” – Narrower, Shorter, Lighter. No Solar Cells. Shipping Container/Garage, sold with the Car, Mucho Solar Cells Mounted thereon, “mating” connector as You park within… Active Suspension (Magneto-Hydrodynamic Damping) with Adjustable Ride Height, active Aero Downforce with Braking and Turning Aids as well. “Communicating” Tow Hitch to Have Aptera Mod Zero, Mark 1 Be the Locomotive giving Accel and Braking commands to the Bearcat, along with sharing Charge (bidirectional).
Start a One-Design Racing Class With the Bearcats. Aptera = “A”, Bearcat = “B”
“C”argo Aptera = Pickup Reimagined.
“D”elivery van = Postal Vehicle
America’s Cup !
Hey, if Porsche can do it….
MemberJanuary 12, 2022 at 12:57 pm
If they spend this entire year tinkering with the design they have , they will fail , it’s taking to long to get into the hands of the public with design 1
MemberJanuary 13, 2022 at 12:22 am
I think the next model should just be a stretch to get a second row of seats in and add a fourth wheel. It would probably get pretty long though. I measured my car and there is about 33 inches between the front and the rear seat. That would put a four wheel, 4/5 seat Aptera at 205 inches long, which is right up there with luxury cars like Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 series. That should keep the drag coefficient almost the same since the rear wheels could ride in the wake of the front wheels, though the frontal area would probably increase a bit to retain sufficient headroom for both rows of seats, so the total aerodynamic drag would increase some.
MemberJune 14, 2022 at 3:14 pm
Yeah, that width would get annoying real fast… particularly with how inconsiderate people are at red lights. They never hug the left of the lane to allow people turning right to continue on their way. With my ultra-narrow Honda Fit, I’ll often make it by, but not with that thing. Not by a long shot.
But yes, McLaren F1 style 3-seater would be great. Was also curious about making that single rear wheel steerable to boost the front vector steering to the point where, perhaps the front wheels wouldn’t even have to turn at all..? Anyway, just some thoughts
MemberJune 15, 2022 at 7:13 am
If you come up with anything interesting throw it up in the Sedan/Crossover/Van/Truck thread!