Coming in February: The Auto Moto

January 6, 2009

Are you an easy-ridin' motorcycle hound stuck in a square-peg, square-hole rut? Want the convenience and fuel-efficiency of a scooter, but concerned about practicalities of living the Vespa lifestyle (including having to hang with other Vespa owners)? Well, perhaps you should consider the new Auto Moto.

At first glance,  the Auto Moto looks like a golf cart for supermodels: slim and chic, with a stylin' overhead to keep the rain off the coif. The three wheels give it a bit more heft than your average scooter, but more stability, too--which isn't a bad thing to have when you've got a squirmy rider clutching your ribcage. It even has a little trunk that might hold two helmets and a bottle of Perrier. Picnic time!

On the tech front, the maker claims 83 mpg, which means about 170 miles between fill-ups,  given its 2.1 gallon tank. The transmission is automatic, which is especially convenient for first-timers. And despite the Shania Twain-backed demo video, it looks fun to drive. Personally, I wish it could tote more than 350 pounds of people, but then, I'm kinda chunky. And with a package price just under $4,000, I wouldn't mind compromising. Stay tuned for the February 1 launch.--Richard Read

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