Are 4 Front Wheels Better than 2 ?
While the jury may still be out on that question, the Covini Engineering team is hoping to finally put their 6-wheel concept vehicle into production and maybe be able to shed some light on the paradox.
Trying to get the C6W into production has been a project that has spanned some 30 years and it may soon be realized. The inspiration for the vehicle comes from the 1976 Tyrell P34 Race Car, which sported a pair of small tires on each side of the steering end. The idea was to reduce drag by decreasing the front cross section and allowing more air to penetrate the sides of the vehicle.
While the idea didn't carry over completely, Covini claims this design will decrease the likelihood of hydroplaning and offer a smoother ride. He also said the extra set of wheels will reduce the force of a frontal impact, should the driver encounter an object that just won't budge.
Other than the previously mentioned advantages, you can also expect the obvious increase in traction through corners and a noticeably shorter braking distance thanks to the extra pair of performance calipers.
Powering the C6W is a 4.2 liter Audi V8 that is good for 433 horsepower and 346lb/ft at the rear wheels and a 6-speed manual gearbox is responsible for getting that energy to the ground. The top speed is estimated to be right around 185mph.
The original concept was unveiled in 2004, with a more refined and realistic version bowing at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Since then it has undergone many changes and redesigns, with a prototype being built for every update. Now, plans for a limited production run, some have said only 6 per year, are finally being finalized with the first ones available to the pubic as early as November or December of 2009.