The Campagna T-Rex 16s is one of the best Trikes to ever be on the market. Fast, great maneuverability and comfortable, this trike beats most high performance cars and costs the same as a decent sedan. Reviewing the trike today is Saabkyle04 where he drives the trike and puts it through its paces.
Let's get started. We'll start it up the engine, get exhaust clip and go over the performance data, we'll take it on a thorough drive and show you all the unique aspects, throughout the interior as well as exterior. So without further ado let's go and hop on in start her up let it run.
Being that I've never had the fortune of taking a solo ride on a motorcycle before you can imagine my excitement when I was offered the chance to spend an entire day with Campania. Both of their models, the T-Rex and V13R, while not a full-fledged foray into the world of two-wheel motoring, this is about as close as it gets. Having three wheels and the open cockpit and the ability to sit two people side by side should be enough to raise anyone's curiosity with a high revving motorcycle engine, manual transmission and a F1 inspired driving position the T-Rex is built to perform and handle as good, or better, than many of the world's high-end sports cars while delivering a unique driving experience unlike anything else I've experienced. Before we move on, for those wanting more information on the V13R, I'll be covering that in a separate review which you can read about.
Founded in 1988 Campagna Motors is a Canadian company based in Quebec just outside of Montreal. The T-Rex has been their bread and butter since 1995 but it wasn't until 2001 that they were offered for sale in the US, which has since become their biggest market. While it certainly evolved over the years, including updated power-trains, streamlined manufacturing processes and styling updates, the concept has remained quite intact. I'd say the closest competitor to the T-Rex is most likely the Polaris Slingshot but you also have the more traditional Morgan three-wheeler and even perhaps the Can-Am Spyder.
Following a strategic partnership with BMW in 2012 in which BMW agreed to supply engines and various other components to Campagna, they launched the T-Rex 16s in 2013 followed soon after by the 16 SP and 2014. The P stands for performance and it represents the track honed T-Rex, raising the limits of both handling and control to make it even more of a capable track car.
Both models are powered by a 1649 CC BMW inline 6-cylinder that delivers 160 horsepower at 7750 RPM + 125 pound-feet of torque at 5250 RPM. It's an oil and water cooled four-stroke engine with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. The compression ratio is written at 12.2 to 1 and being that the whole vehicle weighs around 525 kilograms (or 1157 pounds) it's able to rocket to 60 miles an hour at about 3.9 seconds and pass through a quarter mile in 12.6 seconds.
The power-to-weight ratio is 5.27 pounds per horsepower. Like BMWs K 1600 series motorcycles the T-Rex offers three different driving modes including rain, road and dynamic. Rain limits the engines torque output for improved traction in slippery conditions while Road and dynamic offer different throttle mapping, increasing response respectively. Power is harnessed by a 6-speed sequential manual gearbox before being sent to the rear through a chain driven final drive. How it works is kind of a blend between a conventional automobile and a motorcycle. You'll notice there is a clutch pedal and a console shift lever but when it comes to changing gears pulling the lever towards you up-shifts while pushing it forward down-shifts. Neutral is in between first and second gear.
It takes a moment to get used to, especially with very little clutch travel but honestly it's pretty straight forward. Aside from the car-like layout, the gearbox is essentially a carryover from BMW. The biggest difference with Campagna's application is that they incorporated a reverse gear, so you're able to back out of parking spaces with ease. It's a custom electronically controlled mechanical system that's also running through the console shift lever. You have to be in neutral first but once you're shifted in the neutral on top is a small silver button labeled are press that for a few seconds engages reverse. Hold it once again for a few seconds to disengage it.
Accelerating hard and traveling at higher speeds in this thing is almost indescribable. You're flying by the seat of your pants with plenty of wind flow into your hair and you're riding about four inches off the ground. It's a crazy feeling when you come up to a stop sign or a stop light and some big truck pulls up next to you and their tires are right at your sight-line. It definitely takes a little bit to get used to but like I said, it's unlike anything else I've ever driven and to be honest it's the most fun thing I've ever driven.
Those already familiar with motorcycles will undoubtedly be familiar with a high-revving nature of these kinds of engines. When you're sitting in an open cockpit with an engine behind your head that's screaming at 8,000 RPM, it's hard to think about anything else other than wondering about the kind of engineering that it takes to make such a thing possible. While this example has the standard exhaust system fitted by BMW a crop of street-legal, carbon and titanium mufflers are optional. I can only imagine how amazing that probably sounds.
An entry model T-Rex, before options, starts around $58,000 while the performance model commands an additional six thousand dollars. Our tester, with optional metallic paint, the protection package and the travel package came with a sticker price for just under $69,500.
The 16SP features a fully adjustable coil over suspension with an external oil reservoir, which not only allows you to tailor the Trike for variant loads but you also gain the freedom to customize the setup for road and track conditions. Up front there's double wishbones and a swing arm out back. With the chassis design, low center of gravity, weight distribution and suspension, Campagna claims the T-Rex can hold upwards of 1.3 g of lateral acceleration.
The 16 SP also gains a more direct steering system, courtesy of a shorter ratio rack and pinion, in order to enhance precision as it responds even quicker to your inputs. A flat-bottomed Sparco steering wheel also added for a racier feel. It's wrapped in Alcantara, measures 13 inches in diameter and features grip bolsters at 10 and 2. The steering is completely unfiltered as there's no power assistance. Since it doesn't weigh much, low-speed maneuvers are much easier than you'd think and out on the road, you know exactly what's happening with the front wheels as there's excellent Road feel and a proper level of feedback. Much of its handling ability comes from the wide front track and plenty of rubber out back. The width actually makes the T-Rex a little over half an inch wider than the new Corvette Z06.
The last major hardware upgrade for the performance model includes an upgraded braking system with internally ventilated slotted and cross drilled disc brakes and red calipers at each corner. The brakes aren't powered and there's no ABS or any form of electronic stability control. Stopping power is perfectly proportional to the pressure you apply and like the steering the brakes are communicative and easy to operate. It doesn't take much effort to stop even from higher speeds once pressure is applied the four piston Wilwood calipers are ready to willing to take speed off without hesitation. Even after repeated hard stops, the brakes never exhibited any fade. The 16SP also adds stainless steel brake lines in order to maintain consistent braking performance and more demanding conditions, such as track days.
Of course there's a handful of unique styling touches that distinguish the performance model from a regular T-Rex. The most noticeable are these 11 spoke alloy wheels and they are available in a variety of finishes.
Up front you'll find sixteen inch wheels of 205/45 tires and a single 18 inch wheel in the rear with 275/40 tires. Special performance logos can be found on the body and within the interior. More subtle though, is the red performance back-plate on the engine itself. A nice touch of detail.
The T-Rex is born around a tubular steel chassis that forms a solid roll cage for added protection. The body panels are made from fiberglass and there's massive air intakes across the lower side panels and even a snorkel perched on top of the roof that takes an additional air for cooling various components.
The idea behind Campagna's early products was to give folks the impression of being in a Formula 1 racer.
Climbing in is a multi-step process. First you'll want to grab the roll cage, then sit on the threshold and then swing your legs in. At that point, just drop down into the seat. Once you get the motions right, it's not that hard to climb in but depending on how tall you are, especially folks over six feet, more care will likely need to be taken.
The T-Rex is 42 inches tall at its highest point, its 138 inches long and it rides on 90 inch wheelbase. Overall width based on the front track is 78 inches. At 5 feet 10 inches tall, I still felt like I had pretty good headroom, maybe a couple inches or so at the very least. I can't comment on what it's like with the helmet though as I didn't have one readily available. The most important thing to note when climbing into the T-Rex is to make sure you remove the steering wheel, otherwise it's hard to get your legs in. To release all you have to do is press a small release button grab the collar behind it with both hands and slide it off. To install it back once you're seated, simply place the wheel back on the column and rotate it slightly until it locks in place.
This example also has the optional protection package which adds the carbon-fiber protective pieces across the entry thresholds, in addition to the inclusion of an outdoor cover.
The seating position is an instrumental part of this unique experience as you sit but mere inches off the ground with your torso tilted rearward and your legs stretched nearly horizontal in front of you. Adjustments are limited to the seat backs and pedal box. The ladder is able to slide forward or backward. You then insert a pin into the metal track rod to secure the pedal box in place. The hand brake is controlled by a lever adjacent to your left leg. General ergonomics are good as everything still remains within easy reach despite the seating position.
You wouldn't necessarily consider something like this to be comfortable but the seats did contour my body pretty well and there's decent padding. The suspension also had just the right amount of give without making it too soft. Again in the performance model all that is adjustable.
As expected, visibility is quite good as there's nothing really to get in your way.
One of the accessories you can add to your T-Rex is an Aero 3S Body Kit. Click HERE to see their options.
The T-Rex actually has a lot more features than you might think. Along with a four-speaker 180 watt Alpine sound system there's Bluetooth audio streaming and within the open storage compartment on the right hand side of the dash, USB and aux ports and a 12 volt power outlet.
The instrument cluster is from BMW as well features a high-res digital display this shows your current gear temperature fuel level clock and a comprehensive drivers information system in the center of the dash is a handy control stack. The audio system, drive modes and drivers information system is all controlled here by the large rotary dial. In addition to controlling audio volume, it also provides some "I Drive" functionality when it comes to toggling between menus and options within the drivers information system.
The T-Rex is offered with your choice of 16 exterior colors. Interior colors that are limited to black and gray in the 16 s and 16 SP respectively while red upholstery is an option for both models. Aside from the small open compartment and the dash compartment - there's not much storage space in the T-Rex. If you plan on taking it for an extended trip I'd highly suggest opting for the Travel Package. Not only does it add a partial windscreen and passenger side footrest but it also adds a pair of settle bags that mount up on either side of the engine. Not only are they lockable but they can even be removed if you want to take your stuff with you. A special key is supplied for the bags to unlock them. They offer a decent amount of space for clothes, toiletries or any other relatively small necessities.
Well everyone, I hope you enjoyed the in-depth look at the Campania T-Rex 16S' performance.
Take care everyone,
Thanks Saabkyle04 for an excellent review. If you like cars and interesting vehicles then check out his channel HERE.
Hope you enjoyed this review. Cheers,