Sometimes, it’s tough to remember that the rural American perspective I grew up with isn’t the way things work all over the place. Here, cars and trucks rule the transportation world. Bikes are for fun, and not really for commuting. Buses? What buses? While motorcycles and larger scooters could be very useful, few ride them around here.
But global vehicle sales tell a very different story than the one I used to be familiar with. In the United States, the Ford F-150 keeps taking the #1 slot, but globally, the most popular four-wheeled vehicle of all time is the Toyota Corolla (and its variants). That said, sales of the Corolla are dwarfed by the sales of the Honda Supercub and the many variants of that light motorcycle that have been sold over the years (I rode one of these for fun once). But the #1 spot on vehicles sold globally for all time doesn’t have a motor, and in China they call it the Flying Pigeon (a bicycle that puts the mass in mass-produced).
So, when I heard that Taiwan-based scooter company Gogoro was selling a “Two-Wheel SUV,” I realized I had to take my American thinking cap off for a minute. Instead, I had to think about my longest experience away from the United States, and that happened in Taiwan. Instead of pickup trucks, SUVs, and sedans being the most popular vehicles, the most common thing you’d see if you went there was a scooter (and not kick scooters, but the small motorcycle kind).
Globally, that’s a common vehicle and not a plaything or something only college students ride around on. So, when someone other than an American hears the word “vehicle,” it generally means many other things that aren’t on four wheels.
But, that’s just the V in SUV. I had to dig into the press release to see how the company added some Sport and Utility to the new scooter. The new CrossOver model is intentionally designed to offer a high level of customization and personalization, allowing riders to easily adapt its functions as they go. In Taiwan, later this quarter, two models of the CrossOver will be introduced: the standard CrossOver and the CrossOver S.
“The Gogoro CrossOver embodies everything our brand has come to stand for. Highlighted by new functional design features, improved performance and the latest in innovation, the CrossOver is focused on being personally customizable by each rider,” said Horace Luke, founder, and CEO of Gogoro. “The CrossOver is based on a completely redesigned all-terrain frame that enables increased rigidity while offering a variety of storage and riding capabilities. The CrossOver is a significant step forward for our vehicle product family in Taiwan and across our new markets where we continue to expand vehicle options for our customers.”
The big difference between these and normal scooters starts at the frame. Designed to excel across diverse road conditions, the Gogoro CrossOver embraces an innovatively engineered all-terrain frame, delivering enhanced strength and stability through enhanced rigidity. It also boasts an impressive ground clearance of 14.2 centimeters, making it the highest clearance scooter in the company’s lineup.
What about power? Gogoro’s got riders covered there, too. The CrossOver features an integrated G2.2 aluminum alloy water-cooled permanent magnet synchronous motor, delivering a powerful 7.6 kW (that’s decent power for a vehicle this size). It is also equipped with the FLO DRIVE™ belt drive system, providing a smooth and enjoyable riding experience. And stopping? The CrossOver incorporates a Synchronized Braking System (SBS) with front and rear disc brakes, ensuring stability and reducing braking distance, so it’s harder to get into trouble with that 7.6 kW!
Taking off hard and stopping fast in a straight line isn’t enough to really call a scooter sporty. But, once again, Gogoro has riders covered. The CrossOver features a suspension system that combines a telescopic front fork with dual rear shock absorbers. It is equipped with 12-inch Maxxis MA-EV high-grip dual-performance tires. The CrossOver also incorporates a tactical LED ultra-bright full-time headlight, which not only enhances loading capacity but also provides a complete beam irradiation range.
If you want even more control and performance, go for the S model. The CrossOver S is equipped with the state-of-the-art SSmartcore intelligent driving electronic control core, incorporating Gogoro’s cutting-edge Traction Control System (TCS). Additionally, it offers an optional cruise control mode that enables riders to effortlessly engage cruise control with just a single click.
So, there’s the S (Sport) in SUV. We’ve got two letters now! But, what about some Utility?
The U starts with some very flexible cargo options, with capacity to match the flexibility. The CrossOver earns that middle letter with an innovative mounting point expansion system, boasting 26 locking points. With four versatile cargo areas — the platform design headlight, foot, seat, and rear cargo space — it effortlessly caters to diverse storage requirements. For added capacity, the rear seat can be flipped up or removed, allowing for customizable cargo storage.
On top of that, Gogoro has introduced a range of new accessories to give riders even more cargo options, including a side faceplate rack, off-road front rack, and lightweight aluminum front basket. These enhancements ensure optimal functionality and adaptability. This all, of course, is enabled by the stiffer frame and better suspension mentioned earlier.
But, this is 2023. Utility can’t stop at physical features these days. Everyone wants smart computerized controls to act as a force multiplier, right? If you thought we had Gogoro beat on this last one, you’d be wrong!
The CrossOver series is equipped with the new 6.8 iQ System®, which enables the addition of several important smart functions through Gogoro’s mobile app. Alongside the existing Bluetooth controls, the CrossOver Series also offers LTE smart remote networking services. This allows riders to connect the CrossOver and enjoy features such as 24-hour active message notifications, remote command and control, real-time online vehicle condition inspection, including vehicle tip-over warnings, vehicle locking/unlocking, compartment opening, vehicle location query, and more.
We Need A Dual Sport Gogoro In The States
While Gogoro’s got a Vehicle with plenty of Sport and Utility (thus completing the SUV sale), the company would have to do one thing different to bring this to the states: add some off-road capability. A dual sport version of the scooter with some beefier suspension and some knobby off-road tires would do the trick for many people who aren’t trying to do extreme rides.
The ability to swap batteries and keep riding could make it a very viable option for people living in not only cities, but in rural areas, as you can take extra batteries along in the truck for more play time and/or hunting range.
I’m firing this idea off to Gogoro and will let readers know if I hear anything back.
Featured image provided by Gogoro.
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