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2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept was a Tron trike for the streets

VW was all set to build this rule-breaking, half-sports-car, half-motorcycle trike and offer it for cheap. But then the lawyers got involved.

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skype-headshot

Chris Paukert

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2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept

Of all the concept vehicles on this list, the 2006 Volkswagen GX3 probably came the closest to production.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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This crazy three-wheeler debuted at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show to rave reviews.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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The company developed prototypes and a business case, and it was sailing toward dealers when VW's lawyers stepped in and put a stop to the fun.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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Apparently, the idea of selling something like this with no doors, no airbags and no stability control worried Volkswagen's legal team to no end.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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Designed in VW's California design studio, the GX3 weighed under 1,300 pounds and was pegged to cost under $17,000 to start -- around $4,000 less than a base Mazda MX-5 Miata at the time.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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The rear-wheel-drive trike was powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a six-speed manual gearbox.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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VW claimed 0 to 62 mph could happen in 5.7 seconds. Plus, the GX3 was supposed to get 46 mpg on the European fuel-economy test cycle.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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Yes, that golf-ball shift knob is an homage to VW's famous GTI.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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It looks pretty snug in there, but in a good way.

2006 Volkswagen GX3 concept
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While the GX3 never did make it to market, other companies, including Polaris, have found a not-insignificant amount of success with the three-wheeled autocycle formula.

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