Special to The Globe and Mail
Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.
The Farouche is an open-top snowmobile “trailster” that looks like a vintage convertible muscle car. It would be equipped with a two-stroke Rotax triple cylinder 1200cc E-Tec engine that would develop more than 250 horsepower.
Back in 1974, Ski-Doo built a prototype vehicle called the Mirage. It looked like a Lamborghini meant to be ridden on snow, and it sparked imaginations for the future of snowmobiles. Over the years, the concept never lost its appeal, but snowmobile manufacturers never went in that direction. The Mirage was not meant to be ridden fast, and it was an enclosed vehicle.
How it works
The Farouche is equipped with an ultra-light aluminum frame. Its body is made of reinforced carbon fibre. The body and frame are designed to complement each other and lower the snowmobile’s overall weight.
The engine would come from Rotax. Hypothetically, it would be a new version of its existing 800R E-Tec engine, adding one cylinder and increasing total power output to 250 hp.
A four-stroke version such as the Ski-Doo Elite was considered for this concept vehicle, but to keep total mass to a minimum the two-stroke engine seemed like the best option, especially since performance would be more important than reliability, noise, or fuel consumption.
The engine’s power would be transferred by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to a limited-slip differential, which in turn would manage the output allotted to the side-by-side tracks. The tracks could be created by the Soucy Group to fit the Farouche’s purpose, and they would feature an adjustable suspension with linked torsion bar.
The seats would be specially designed by Recaro and could be heated by the engine’s coolant or ambient air. Optionally, each seat could be equipped with its own independent suspension so the driver and passenger would each be able to program their own comfort settings. To shed weight on the vehicle, improve stiffness on the frame, and reduce complexity, there would be no doors. The occupants could hop in from the back or the sides (Dukes of Hazzard style!).
What’s it’s used for
The Farouche would not be designed to ride all day long on bumpy trails. It’s a vehicle to take you and a friend for a short but exhilarating ride on the weekends. It could be a sensation at winter events such as the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt.
The Farouche concept was developed in collaboration with Sebastian Campos Möller, an award-winning industrial designer from Mexico. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design and he specializes in 3-D modelling for additive and subtractive prototyping and concept development for human-centered products. He has also produced the concept images for theParagon and Cosmos concepts.
Charles Bombardier is a member of the family that owns Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which are in the business of designing and manufacturing vehicles. Bombardier left BRP in 2006 to work on his own ventures, and in March, 2013 he began to create his own concept vehicles and publish them on his website.