RDX

The Concept 

The RDX is a lightweight, single-passenger electric snowmobile designed to ride in deep snow and densely wooded forest. It would feature motorized tracks, power steering and a self-balancing system. The narrowness of the RDX would allow riders to easily manoeuvre between trees, making it possible to explore hidden quiet spots. 

The Background 

Narrow snowmobiles equipped with single skis have been designed and manufactured in the past. However, I always wanted to ride a more powerful but quieter electric version that could be easily steered in tight spots at low speed. The development of new materials, electric powerpacks, and compact gyroscopes could help achieve that goal in the years to come. 

How It Works 

The RDX would be powered by electric sprocket motors positioned at each end of its tracks. These compact motors should provide enough torque to propel and accelerate the RDX faster than any factory snowmobile. The sprocket motor idea was inspired by the motor wheel invented by Pierre Dubuc in 1994.  

The RDX would need to be light and responsive. It would be self-balanced by two single-gimbal control moment gyroscopes. This technology would allow the RDX to remain stable and upright at low speed or full stop. The tracks would feature electric power steering and a traction control system to reduce unnecessary slipping or skidding. The RDX could draw its power from a liquid-cooled Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell (Hydrogen) or Ion lithium batteries located in its central section. 

The rear long track of the RDX would spread out the pressure on the snow’s surface, and it could be offered in various lengths or stud configurations. The shape of each track would need to be optimized to help steer and bank the vehicle between trees. The size, weight and agility of the driver would make a difference in the machine’s responsiveness, but the above mentioned technologies would definitely help take the riding experience to a whole new level. 

The Market 

The snowmobile industry is evolving, and new generations of customers are seeking new kinds of adventures. Creating an electric snowmobile powered by hydrogen designed to explore undiscovered backcountry areas will resonate with some of them. In my opinion, the RDX (or variants of it) would make an ideal machine to re-discover winters by allowing us to escape to remote and pristine snowcovered forests and hidden valleys in a whole new way. 

Acknowledgements 

The RDX concept was imagined in May 2019 by Charles Bombardier and designed bAdolfo Esquivel, a freelance industrial designer based in Montreal. Adolfo has created many designs for Imaginactive.