The Campagna T-Rex is confusing. It's sort of like wearing a ridiculous hat with a unicorn horn on it and eating something fried on a stick at a carnival — it's a lot of fun while you're doing it, but it's completely impractical for normal life, and you look a little like an idiot. Also, like driving an actual cloned or reincarnated T-Rex, people are likely to stare at you.
Three-wheeled cars generally only exist for two very different reasons: poverty and fun. And those differences are defined by the layout of those wheels. Three wheelers with one wheel in front, in the tippy-over layout, are usually used as super-cheap, basic working transportation. Think all the autorickshaws in India and the Reliant Robin (the Bond Bug is an exception).
The tail-dragger three wheel layout, with the one wheel in the rear, is usually used for cars that give practicality the finger in favor of eccentric fun. Like the Morgan three-wheeler and this T-Rex. Officially, the T-Rex is classified as a motorcycle, but thanks to California's Byzantine DMV rules, you can get away with driving it without a motorcycle license or a helmet.
Those two details — that you can drive it without a helmet or motorcycle license — I think is key to exactly who is buying these crazy things. As best I can tell, the real target market here is people who really want a motorcycle, but can't have one or don't want to bother learning to drive one.
Because, really, this is about as close an experience to driving a motorcycle as a non-motorcycle rider is likely to get. The whole drivetrain is from a BMW 1600cc 6-cylinder motorcycle making 160 HP, and it all weighs only 1100 lbs. When you drive it, you're exposed like a motorcycle rider is, you have noises like a motorcycle, and a similar contempt for comfort, practicality, and safety.
I should also mention here that the one loaned to me was described as 'pre-production,' and had to be repaired for a couple of the days I had it. Reverse quit working, and then all the pedals stopped working as well. I was told a faulty connecting pin from the pedal assembly was confusing the engine computer, and there was some more vague solenoid issue with reverse. It worked fine after the repairs.
It's ridiculous. It's a loud dude magnet that's frankly way too expensive for the exhibitionistic toy that it is. It would be miserable to use as a daily driver. It's tricky to get used to driving it, but when you do it's impossible not to have fun in it
Oh, and just because I know someone will ask, it will absolutely not baby. I did let Otto sit in it and I'd rev the engine (maybe we drove a few feet — shhh) but no rational person should take a baby/toddler in this thing anywhere
I had to score this one right in the middle because there's two very polarizing things going on in the T-Rex that cancel each other out. On the plus side, it looks like nothing else on the road. It's absurdly low and purposeful looking, and it looks like something our great-great-great grandkids will call a terrapod or something like that, and use when they decide they want to roam the surface instead of staying in their hover-pods. It's striking.
On the minus side, it's also a bit ugly. To me, it feels a bit overworked and overcomplicated. It's so crammed full of vents and holes and hoses and scoops that it's almost hard to look at from the side. It's a sort of cool kind of ugly, though, and in a way it reminds me of an actual tyrannosaurus skull with a motorcycle jammed in the back.
Also, if you're in witness relocation or hate being noticed, do not get one of these. Everybody — and by 'everybody' I mean dudes and little kids — notices this car. Most women didn't really give it anything more than an eyeroll, but males were stopping me and asking questions, taking cellphone pictures from car windows, screaming approval as I roared by, all that. Even a cop yelled to ask me about it from across a street.
And, right across the road from my house is an elementary school, and when I pulled up in this thing a huge pack of them charged the gate and started yelling. "Is that a racecar?" "Does it fly?" "Are you from space?" So you are bringing wonder to people in this. Which is why I'm giving it a 6 instead of a 5