Ionos

The Concept

The Ionos is a ‘family oriented’ electric snowmobile concept equipped with four inline seats. It would be narrow enough to ride on existing trails and comfortable enough to traverse whole provinces while cutting back on emissions.

The Background

Do you love the experience of riding on freshly fallen snow? Or taking a quiet ride in a snow-covered forest? Imagine if you could do this with your whole family on a quiet and emission-free snowmobile. That’s the idea driving the Ionos concept. The name is short for ‘Ionosphere.’ (In 1987, I rode a ‘Ski-Doo Stratos,’ and that souvenir inspired the name for this concept)

How It Works

The Ionos would be powered by motorized sprockets. The snowmobile’s twin track configuration could be engineered to provide enough support on existing trails while reducing roll and drag. The machine would not be created to ride in deep snow. Over time, trails could be made to accommodate snowmobiles with a longer track like the Ionos.

Each seat of the Ionos would be equipped with an independent reactive suspension with at least 3 inches of travel. The snowmobile’s 8-inch suspension would thus absorb the first shock and each seat’s suspension the aftershock. Each suspension piece would adapt itself based on the weight of the occupant and could be made to listen to vocal feedback (via Bluetooth Helmet link) to make adjustments.

A liquid could also be circulated inside the seats to heat or cool them to match the preference of each rider. Inductive plates embedded in the footrest of the snowmobile would create a magnetic field to transfer electricity wirelessly to the full suit of the driver and passenger. Boots, gloves, and other parts of the suit would then use this electricity to generate heat and power for augmented reality devices in the helmet.

The Ionos sensors could detect animals, humans, logs and other vehicles in front or nearby. A Track Slip Detector (TSD) system could predict if the Ionos was going to oversteer/understeer in an upcoming corner. It would calculate this by examining the track ahead, the load on each seat, the speed, trail conditions, driving history in the area, and other data.  The TSD would help prevent the Ionos from flipping over and would share its data with other snowmobiles.

The Market

A lot of parts, accessories and clothing for the Ionos could be re-used from other places. You could design specialized trailers, seats that could tilt slightly, various types of add-ons like armrest, side panels, leaning backrests etc. The space occupied by all seats could be used as cargo space or for a stretcher.  The main market would be aimed at the next generation of families (Millennials) inclined to discover our trails and winter in a whole new way.

The Designer

The Ionos concept was imagined in June 2019 by Charles Bombardier and designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. Jorge also created the images of the Lakemaster racing snowmobile and the flying Mistral backcountry camper concept.