Argentinian entrepreneur wants to bring the Reliant Robin back. Sort of…

Having a 3-wheeler can be lots of fun, as the Morgan 3-Wheeler or the EV3 proves. But it is a very bad idea to have the single wheel at the front axle due to stability matters. And it is not even necessary to have watched Jeremy Clarkson making fun of the Reliant Robin in a now famous Top Gear episode to agree with that. But let’s do so anyway.

And also see the animation of what a race with Reliant Robin units would be.

But the fact is that an Argentinian entrepreneur thinks it is a brilliant idea. Walter Steiner, owner of the Zanella motorcycle brand in Argentina, has declared he is working on a “social car” with the Argentinian Transportation Ministry. According to Argentina Autoblog, the new “car” would cost only 90,000 pesos, or US$ 6,000.

The car, which will probably be named Zanella Zity, has been photographed by the Argentinian website in 2011.

ZANELLA-ZITY-2

It is a rebadged version of the Yogomo MA3G, a trike sold in China.

Yogomo-MA3G-1

Yogomo-MA3G-2 Yogomo-MA3G-5 Yogomo-MA3G-6 Yogomo-MA3G-7

It is 3.05 m long, 1.42 m wide, 1.48 m high and has a wheelbase of 2.22 m. Yogomo says it seats 3 people, while Zanella has declared the Zity will carry 4. The car weighs 450 kg and it is powered by a 1-cylinder 200 cm³ Lifan motorcycle engine that produces 11 kW at 7,500 rpm and 12.5 Nm at 4,500 rpm. Mind you: we are talking about Nm, not kgfm. It powers the rear wheels. We bet a new scale would have to be created in Latin NCAP to score it. There is nothing below 0 stars, currently.

The new social car is the mix of 2 awful ideas: a budget car, such as the Tata Nano, a lousy-seller, and a 3-wheeler that is taller than wider. Like the Reliant Robin. Can it work? Can 2 negatives result in 1 positive? For the safety of Argentinians, we hope it doesn’t.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.