Like the Phoenix?

You know that saying, you can’t re-invent the wheel? Well, if you can remember the 80’s you will surely remember the ill-starred Sinclair C5, the electric ‘trike created by boffin Sir Clive Sinclair, who achieved rather more success with his other electronic devices. Now, after a 32-year interval, Sir Clive’s nephew Grant Sinclair is giving the electric ‘trike business another go, and with the benefit of hindsight is hoping to avoid the pitfalls of the original.

Grant Sinclair rides the C5 / Credit: Grant Sinclair Design

The oft-derided C5 only remained in production for nine months, at the end of which just 5,000 of the 14,000 produced had been sold despite a selling price of just £399. However, with a top speed of just 15mph it was always going to find hills a challenge, and that combined with its’ low height making it difficult to spot in traffic, meant that potential owners were reluctant to take up the challenge.

Credit: Grant Sinclair Design

Things have moved on since the 1980’s with the advent of cycle lanes and an increasing awareness of environmental concerns, so Grant Sinclair has come up with the Iris E-Trike. It is bigger than the original, with an overall height of four feet, which should help with the visibility problem. The driver is enclosed too, so at least you won’t get a face full of spray every time a vehicle passes you in the wet. The luxury doesn’t end there for the Iris also comes with LCD headlights, a screen displaying your speed and even a rear-facing camera that can stream feed to your smartphone – which of course you shouldn’t be looking at whilst driving.

Credit: Grant Sinclair Design

All that comes at a price of £2,999 for the Eco version and £3,499 for the Extreme version, which is a bit of a step-up from the original. It just remains to be seen if buyers are more receptive thirty years on.

The Iris eTrike is designed for year-round use by the general public / Credit: Grant Sinclair Design

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