View Full Version : The Merlin Roadster


Success_Machine
07-26-02, 04:18 AM
Corbin Motors of California presents...

The Merlin Roadster (http://www.corbinmotors.com/products_merlinroadster.html) has a real Harley Davidson engine under the hood (or protruding from the hood rather). This one-seat commuter car could be improved any number of ways, but is so cool I'd buy one right now...

http://www.corbin.com/corbinmotors/merlin_door.gif

Improvements I'd make include:

- convertible for all-weather driving
- flexible fuel diesel/biodiesel engine version
- flexible fuel gasoline/ethanol version
- direct liquid ethanol fuel cell version (Medis Technologies (http://www.medistechnologies.com))
- homebrew ethanol still kits
- cargo trailer, or two-seat inline version


(um, yes, I do believe ah have found mah ideal automobile, yes)

Gifted
07-26-02, 06:44 AM
You couldn't drive ti in the U.S. though.

Success_Machine
07-26-02, 07:51 AM
It is MADE IN THE USA, licensed for road use, and built for freeway speed !!! So be American... buy American. Corbin Motors is located in California.

Apparently one of Corbin Motors (http://www.corbinmotors.com/products_merlinroadster.html) vehicles will be featured in the new Austin Powers movie. Looks like they have a number of products in the pipeline...

The Merlin Coupe (http://www.corbinmotors.com/products_merlincoupe.html) is designed for the commuter and will get 70-90 mpg fuel economy, and drive 300-400 miles on a single tank of gas.

http://www.corbinmotors.com/images/products_mc_pic.jpg

"87% of commuters in the US travel 18 miles or less to work dailyÖ 93% of those do so alone."

"That's what we say when people ask, "Are you going to build a two-seater next?" We just don't believe the world needs another seven passenger Sport Utility Vehicle on the freeway to take ONE person to work. Sure, maybe your big SUV can pull tree stumps, but let's see you cruise it to work for about a penny a mile and park it in a motorcycle parking spot. Leave the Sport Utility in the driveway for the weekend family outings and drive something efficient to work. Heck, with the money you save on gas take them to the mall!"

SUVs have become an unachievable status symbol, and most guys my age just can't afford one. They keep catering to people who are willing to spend 25% of their income to buy one "on time" with substantial monthly payments. I just don't want to live like that. This car looks good, and it also seems to be affordable. The big automakers don't think there's a market for something like this? Think again.

http://www.corbinmotors.com/images/news/020102/4l.jpg

http://www.corbinmotors.com/images/news/022202/beautylarge.jpg

http://www.corbinmotors.com/images/news/022502/beauty.jpg

http://www.corbinmotors.com/images/news/022702/roadster_large.jpg

http://www.corbinmotors.com/images/news/031102/beauty.jpg

Who else sells a comfortable, one-seat, commuter car, that gets 70 - 90 mpg, that is licensed for use on the roads, and LOOKS LIKE THAT !!!!!

NOOOOOOO-BODY !!!

The Merlin Roadster is so interesting that I have added a link to my Starship Generations (http://geocities.com/womplex_oo1/StarshipGenerations.html) website, under the renewable energy transportation section at the bottom of the page... it is truely an extension of the bare-bones concepts I had presented earlier!

BatM
07-27-02, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by Gifted
You couldn't drive ti in the U.S. though.

Why would you say that? I haven't yet seen a Merlin Roadster around (but I suspect they're out there), but I have seen the Sparrow on streets around California.

Tristan
07-29-02, 12:07 PM
I was looking at the orange one 2 days ago and talking with a guy who was in the business.

Its an interesting car.

(P.S im at oshkosh WI) (if you dont know, its the biggest airshow in the world. Todays the last day)

Congrats
07-29-02, 07:37 PM
(P.S im at oshkosh WI) (if you dont know, its the biggest airshow in the world. Todays the last day)

I live within walking distance of the second-largest balloon show in the world, the 'New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.' It's over now, but there were about 200 balloons.

Wow, now that 've driven this thread way off topic....

Unregistered
07-29-02, 09:16 PM
Originally posted by Congrats


I live within walking distance of the second-largest balloon show in the world, the 'New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.' It's over now, but there were about 200 balloons.

Wow, now that 've driven this thread way off topic....

Yes I live there too. Wowzers. Do we live in the same area?


Anyway.....

I saw the Corbin Sparrow once at a New York City car show. A definite great car I believe, very stylish and new age, but overpriced. How much can you charge for a one seat small displacement vehicle? $15,000? $10,000?

BatM
07-29-02, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Unregistered
I saw the Corbin Sparrow once at a New York City car show. A definite great car I believe, very stylish and new age, but overpriced. How much can you charge for a one seat small displacement vehicle? $15,000? $10,000?

The price will probably go down when the production quantity goes up. I believe the Sparrow currently lists for just under $15K, but I don't think there are significant quantities on the road yet. As I see it, the problems with the Sparrow are:


low range (<60 miles)
low max speed (70mph)
long fuel-up at electric outlet
low availability of electric outlets


It's a really good "around town" car for (relatively) short commutes to work and stopping off at the store on the way home. However, I think the Merlin Coupe will be much more flexible and, therefore, attractive to the general population. I think it will sell really well in many big city areas to working commuters who prefer to live (way) outside the city and commute to work. The key will be keeping the price down so that it remains attractive as a "second car" (Corbin, though, is known to be expensive in the motorcycle arena).

Of course, if I had my choice, I'd rather my "second car" was a Moller SkyCar (http://www.moller.com). :cool:

Unregistered
07-29-02, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by BatM


The price will probably go down when the production quantity goes up. I believe the Sparrow currently lists for just under $15K, but I don't think there are significant quantities on the road yet. As I see it, the problems with the Sparrow are:


low range (<60 miles)
low max speed (70mph)
long fuel-up at electric outlet
low availability of electric outlets


It's a really good "around town" car for (relatively) short commutes to work and stopping off at the store on the way home. However, I think the Merlin Coupe will be much more flexible and, therefore, attractive to the general population. I think it will sell really well in many big city areas to working commuters who prefer to live (way) outside the city and commute to work. The key will be keeping the price down so that it remains attractive as a "second car" (Corbin, though, is known to be expensive in the motorcycle arena).

Of course, if I had my choice, I'd rather my "second car" was a Moller SkyCar (http://www.moller.com). :cool:


Well, the Sparrow in my opinion is more the precursor to a breakthrough, than a breakthrough itself. This merlin coupe seems to be the breakthough. When I'm im 17 if possible I'd buy one.

Tristan
07-30-02, 12:20 AM
way off topic? Why is this thread even in earth science?:confused:

Success_Machine
07-30-02, 07:21 AM
This was not off-topic in Earth Science. It most certain IS off-topic in the Intelligence & Machines forum. The reason I posted to Earth Science is this:

93% of cars on the road have just one person in them

The Merlin Roadster, and other cars manufactured by Corbin Motors is the first 1-seat commuter car manufactured in the United States that is licensed for road use, accelerates & maneuvers like a hotrod, gets 70-90 mpg fuel economy, is affordable, and LOOKS AWESOME !!! Simply put, the 1-seater car shown in photos at the top of this thread is more environmentally friendly than any car in America, and they could do so much more with the concept, such as:

- diesel engine could increase fuel economy 50%

- diesel-electric hybrid could double fuel economy

- a diesel engine could also burn biodiesel, a renewable fuel

- flexible fuel gasoline-ethanol version could allow smooth high-efficiency transition to renewable fuel for transportation

- a cargo trailer could provide occasional extra cargo capacity without being a permanent burden to the car's fuel economy.

One-seat cars have the potential to reduce fuel consumption in Canada, USA, and Mexico to levels where renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel could comprise the bulk of fuel consumed.

Cris
07-31-02, 04:49 PM
It is not obvious which forum to place this thread. AI was definitely wrong.

Good fuel consumption is certainly an environmental issue so I think Earth Science maybe the best fit. Hence it is back.

Cris

(Q)
07-31-02, 05:01 PM
Why should I dish out another $18,900 for the cost of the vehicle, plus the cost of insurance, gas and repairs when I can simply use that money to buy gas for my one SUV ?

Cris
07-31-02, 05:26 PM
I can argue that a gas guzzling SUV is more environmentally friendly than a bicyclist covering the same distances.

The energy for each comes from quite different sources.

The energy for SUV comes from oil that has been extracted from the earth through a relatively very small hole in the ground.

The energy for the cyclist has come from vegetable and meat products that have consumed acres of the earthís surface. Fields used for crops do little if anything to assist in environmental conditions but instead displace the more useful wilderness and forest areas that sustain our atmosphere. Acres of land used for grazing cattle also displace the wilderness but with the added disaster of such animals creating large quantities of environmentally dangerous methane.

The primary reason to use machines that use less fuel is so that the limited resource of oil will last much longer. Meanwhile agriculture and the food industry are destroying our atmosphere.

So spend more time driving SUVs and eat less and save the planet in the process. :D

Cris

BatM
07-31-02, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by Cris
I can argue that a gas guzzling SUV is more environmentally friendly than a bicyclist covering the same distances.


Probably true if the distances are big, but not if the distances are small. You can argue that, once the SUV gets up to speed, it uses less energy than the bicyclist. However, the bicyclist is quicker off the line with less of an energy requirement.

Of course, if you want to argue this, my argument would be that the various forms of public transportation (buses, light rail, trains, planes, etc.) are more environmentally friendly than SUVs covering the same distances. :p

BatM
07-31-02, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by (Q)
Why should I dish out another $18,900 for the cost of the vehicle, plus the cost of insurance, gas and repairs when I can simply use that money to buy gas for my one SUV ?

Cost/benefit ratio, silly. :p


If the $19K Merlin gets 8-10 times the gas mileage of your SUV, how much is it saving you in gas per year? In my case, I probably spend $25/wk for gas. Therefore, it would probably save me ~$1K/year in the cost of gas alone (throw in a few big trips and YMMV).
Also, the Merlin is (most likely) HOV compatible, so you can take the diamond lanes to work and probably trim a lot of time off your commute. In my case, it might cut my trip time in half (from 45 minutes to 20 minutes).
Also, the Harley engine is much simpler than the SUV engine, so the need to go to the shop will be reduced and (potentially) much less expensive (even on oil changes).
Also, being a small, simple car, the insurance is likely to be cheaper because it is less costly to repair after an accident and less likely to do damage to others.
Finally, you don't have to get another $40K SUV for the wife and kids to use while you're using the first SUV at work.
Oh, and, if you're reasonably close to work, the Sparrow might be a better and even cheaper option.


This looks even better if the production of the vehicle goes up and the cost comes down.

Cris
08-01-02, 01:07 AM
Batm,


Probably true if the distances are big, but not if the distances are small. You can argue that, once the SUV gets up to speed, it uses less energy than the bicyclist. However, the bicyclist is quicker off the line with less of an energy requirement. Perhaps, but my point wasn't really about comparing energy consumption but the sources of the energy.

A few tiny holes in the ground to extract oil can in no way compare to vast areas of the worlds surface used to sustain cyclists, assuming all SUV and car drivers switched over to being cyclists.

My point is that agriculture and meat production has a very detrimental effect on the atmospshere by removing wilderness whereas a few drill holes have no such impact.

Cris

overdoze
08-01-02, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by Cris
My point is that agriculture and meat production has a very detrimental effect on the atmospshere by removing wilderness whereas a few drill holes have no such impact.


Of course, driving instead of biking or walking has a very detrimental effect on people's health and well-being. Granted, they can compensate by exercising, but then -- whoops! -- there goes the savings on food.

Success_Machine
08-01-02, 10:12 AM
Our supply lines are dependent on the performance expectations of motor vehicles. We know that a certain truck can go a certain speed, travel a certain distance, carry a certain amount of cargo, and the cost of doing so is quite predictable.

It is so predictable that we have been able to optimize our food supplies to support a larger population than would otherwise be possible. Without those supply lines, which depend on fossil-fuel automobiles, people would starve by the millions. In fact without oil, we wouldn't have sufficient quantities of fertilizers and pesticides, which are made from petroleum products, to boost crop yields to feed people. Again people would starve.

This could be seen as either a detrimental or beneficial effect of motor vehicles. But one has to keep in mind that oil is a finite resource, and we are burning it in car engines by the billions of barrels annually.

BatM
08-01-02, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Cris
A few tiny holes in the ground to extract oil can in no way compare to vast areas of the worlds surface used to sustain cyclists, assuming all SUV and car drivers switched over to being cyclists.

My point is that agriculture and meat production has a very detrimental effect on the atmospshere by removing wilderness whereas a few drill holes have no such impact.


Mostly agree with you, but there is the Exxon Valdez to consider. Agriculture certainly changes the landscape, but plant and animal population can adjust. A spill from an oil pipe, however...

Gifted
08-06-02, 06:45 AM
My post on the lisensing is based on an article in Poular Mechanics covering the vehicle. If you have a more reliable source of information then I stand corrected.

I live in Germany and I saw a motor scooter with a roll cage like roof and even wipers on the windshield this weekend. Can anyone get more info on this thing?

Gifted
08-06-02, 07:06 AM
I'm sorry, the article I read wasn't about the Merlin. I just double checked it. Here's the vehicle I saw: http://www.popsci.com/popsci/auto/article/0,12543,322333,00.html

Success_Machine
08-07-02, 04:20 AM
Way too expensive. On a side note I got a ride home from a co-worker in what appeared to be a 4-door sedan that seats five. Ha! I had to sit sideways in the back seat, my feet were too long to put on the floor without first turning them sideways in order to get my toes under the driver's seat, and then turning them back straight again.

I tell you, most 4-door sedans already are 2-seat cars. There is no way I'd ride in that car for more than a few minutes. The Merlin Coupe just means the owner has accepted reality. :-)

Gifted
08-07-02, 12:28 PM
I will NOT get a car that I have to curl up to get into. And that doesn't mean that it can't be a light efficient one. There's a difference between weight and volume.

BatM
08-08-02, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by Gifted
I will NOT get a car that I have to curl up to get into. And that doesn't mean that it can't be a light efficient one. There's a difference between weight and volume.

How about the difference between the ground and the sky?

:cool:

http://www.moller.com/news/HoverStills/minTether.jpg

Gifted
08-08-02, 03:08 PM
Perhaps if I get a pilot's license.

Success_Machine
08-09-02, 04:39 AM
Can you drive the skycar on the highway? If not you might as well buy an ultralight, there's lots of different styles and kits available. Some of them fold down so you can tow it home from the airfield behind your car.

Skycar does look a bit overpowered for highway use.

BatM
08-09-02, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Success_Machine
Can you drive the skycar on the highway? If not you might as well buy an ultralight, there's lots of different styles and kits available. Some of them fold down so you can tow it home from the airfield behind your car.

Skycar does look a bit overpowered for highway use.

Depends upon what you consider to be the highway. :D

The picture is from a hover test done in July, so it's still going to be awhile before even pilots can make use of it. It's possible specs are:


Fit in your garage.
Only needs road to get to takeoff/landing location.
VTOL (ie. no runway needed).
300mph in flight (ie. much faster than an ultralight).
high flight ceiling (I forget how high).
redundant systems plus parachute.


This could change the organization of cities dramatically. The first area I see it potentially being used is the SF Bay Area as a sky taxi service between major cities. As more "vertiports" are installed and the cost of the Skycar comes down AND the automatic flight control systems improve, people could spread out more and reduce conjestion on the streets at the same time (there's a lot more real estate in the sky than on the ground).

Of course, this is all still years away. :(

Then again, maybe the Solotrek (http://www.solotrek.com) will get here sooner. It's fun to dream... ;)

Gifted
08-10-02, 07:17 AM
A million dollars was the last price I new on the skycar. I doubt it will drop below 200 grand.

bobbapink
08-11-02, 11:41 AM
Does that $18,000 include a funeral plot?

It looks like a death trap to me.

BatM
08-11-02, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by bobbapink
Does that $18,000 include a funeral plot?

It looks like a death trap to me.

In comparison to any other motorcycle on the road? :confused:

bobbapink
08-13-02, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by BatM


In comparison to any other motorcycle on the road? :confused:

Yes, confused.

Seems to me it has all that safety disadvantages of a motorcycle and none of the advantages. Iíll go through a short and very incomplete list.

Motorcycles are far more maneuverable.

Motorcycles are far more vision friendly.

Motorcycles are far more fun.

Motorcycles do not generally prompt others to tailgate.

Motorcycles generally necessitate helmets/headlights.

Motorcycles ride higher (view wise for the rider and observer)

You can (convince yourself that you can) jump off in case of imminent danger. (Iím joking a bit here but honestly, Iím not sure which Iíd prefer Ė road rash or road smash)

So yea, In comparision Iíd say it looks a large bit more dangerous than a motorcycle.

Your thoughts?

BatM
08-14-02, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by bobbapink

Your thoughts?


With respect to the "Roadster", you have some points because of it's "open" configuration. I see the roadster as kind of a three wheeled version of the typical police motorcycle (think "CHiPs"). The question is how good is the shell around it (the open top, though, means you could be ejected up in a crash).

I remember reading on the web-site that the shell would be built of a high-strength composite akin to what is used in motorcycle helmets. If you feel safe wearing a little bitty helmet on your head, then aren't you going to feel a whole lot safer if the helmet surrounds your entire body? Assuming the shell doesn't disintegrate in a crash and the seat belts hold up (big ifs), I could see how you'd be safer than in a motorcycle. The rounded configuration and the elasticity of the composite shell may mean that you'll "bounce" off of things in lower speed collisions (but how low is "lower speed"?).

With a strong composite shell, I don't see it being any more dangerous than riding in a Mazda Miata, Porsche Boxter, Cooper Mini or BMW Z3. It "looks" like it should be safer (especially in the coupe configuration) than most motorcycles I see on the road. However, just because it's a motorcycle under the hood, doesn't mean you should go driving it like one.

;)

zira
10-07-02, 04:07 PM
As I can see on the photo,

you would lay down in that roadster nearly like in a bed.

How would you see the road in front of yours ?


Quite different from the posture on a Harley.

BatM
10-07-02, 04:19 PM
Doesn't appear to be any different than sitting in a low sports car (like a Porsche). It's a reclined position, but it doesn't appear to be "flat on your back". Unless you're a very small person, it looks like there is a lot of straight ahead visibility.