I am starting this post with yet another apology. I am about to say some things that are my OPINION and not necessarily fact. So please do the research on your own and form your own opinions. Don’t let me pollute your thinking. First I would like to apologize to Robert Q. Riley for the things I am about to say about his car the XR3. I am going to be critical regarding a couple of features that I find troubling. I probably would have never mentioned the XR3 in this blog, except that I feel a need to comment on the less than complementary statements made about the Aptera in a recent post in Fast Company. That said, my comments about the XR3 later in this article are actually meant to be more about constructive criticism than they are to be about vengeance.  My statements about the XR3 will be about the things I would like to see changed in the vehicle. In my opinion, if they are made, I think the XR3 would be an even stronger contender to the Aptera.

I don’t like destructive criticism. I find little use for it. The article I read about the XR3, in Fast Company by Kit Eaton, needlessly dragged the Aptera into the article. It seemed more mean spirited than informative. Kit Eaton used the words, “geeky”, “awkward”, and “odd” to describe the Aptera. He has every right to do so. It is after all his opinion… I think. To me, it seems very strange that Eaton felt compelled to throw the Aptera into the article about the XR3. What purpose did it serve to draw comparisons between these two cars? It doesn’t seem to be needed at this time since neither are really on the market. Most people that stumbled upon his article probably never heard of the Aptera nor the XR3 before they read about them in Eaton’s piece. I wonder how many people were driven to the Aptera web site by his article and sold on the looks of the Aptera over the XR3? To that end, Eaton’s article was like an outline for a larger article. An article that should take place in a future time when both car companies are going head to head after both of them have sold a few hundred thousand and both have developed a fan base of drivers.

As for the XR3 it self, it has a fantastic rear end. The publicity shot of the car shows the rear of the car and not the front. That seemed strange to me at first until I found a front end shot. The front of the car has looks of a classic race car with the exception of the giant black nose on the hood. My honest first thought when I saw it was that it looked like a proboscis monkey. I am not being mean; that is really what I thought! If there must be a raised area on the top of the XR3 Mr. Riley, can’t it be more rounded like that of a classic Corvette?

The only other feature I found to be a problem for me was the way the car opened up for the driver and passenger to enter and exit the vehicle. For someone (me) who always loved science fiction, I love the look of this car… in the sun. I don’t think I would be so inclined to like it on a Midwestern day when the rain is pouring down, “in sheets” as they say. The design as I see it in the photo looks as though there is no rain protection for the interior when you pop the hatch. And, unless you have lived at least one season in a Midwestern winter, you may not realize that on days when the weather is right, snow may poor down and melt just enough on a car to leave a layer of ice that fills all of the jams. After you scrape the snow off you then have to deal with door jams that are frozen shut on both sides of the car. This design looks like it could be a potential nightmare in such weather. I find it annoying enough to have to beat the jam with my fist to get the door open. I think I could find a special level of anger at a hatch that covers a large portion of the surface of the vehicle being frozen shut. That said I think that the XR3 has a great amount of potential and I look forward to seeing the final product.

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