It's time to call it a day, we've now seen everything
Replacing the first-gen Reliant Robin made famous by Jeremy Clarkson in an old Top Gear episode during which he rolled it over multiple times, the Rialto was another three-wheeler built by the Reliant Motor Company. The standard versions of the car – be it the sedan, hatchback, estate or the pickup - might look funny, but this one is no joke.
That’s because the quirky and tiny machine has lost its miniscule 0.85-liter four-cylinder engine as the owner decided to go with a motorcycle engine. Not just any motorcycle engine, but the one from a Honda CBR motorcycle screaming all the way up to 12,000 rpm and with almost three times the power of the Rialto’s original engine.
Then there’s the comically-looking widebody, the fat tires, and the massive rear wing with the “But is it big?” lettering written underneath. These are all ingredients for a rather odd three-wheeled machine built for hill climb events, such as the Retro Rides Gathering 2018 in the U.K. where the modified Relaint took part in last month to the delight of the attendees.
If you’re here just to see the car roll over, you’re in for a disappointment as the purpose-built hill climb racer actually looks quite stable while it goes up the twisty road. Ok, the driver does seem to slow down probably more than the norm just to be on the safe side, but even so, we have to give a shout out to George Rogers for coming up with the idea of turning the Rialto into a motorcycle-engined widebody three-wheeler with a huge wing to match.
The sound coming out of the twin exhaust tips mounted in the middle is positively glorious, and while 110 horsepower might not sound like a lot, it’s worth mentioning the car weighs less than 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds). As a matter of fact, the standard Rialto tipped the scales at just 436 kg (961 lbs), which is roughly 100 kg (62 lbs) less than a 135-hp Caterham Seven 270.