On Friday, December 2nd, 2011, Confederate Motors Inc. ofBirmingham,Alabama unveiled their latest creation: the third generation Hellcat.
The Hellcat is named so after the American F6F Hellcat fighter plane from WWII. Confederate Motorcycles manufactures hand crafted machines that make no excuses about style or performance and proudly brandish the “American made” slogan.
It is the design of the X132 Hellcat – or any Confederate Motorcycles machine for that matter – that makes this machine a breed all its own. Ed Jacobs, Confederate Motorcycles’ Head of Design, describes his approach to designing the Hellcat “I have a universal design philosophy that I’ve believed in for years: to listen to what the product wants to be. Don’t force your aesthetic on it. Allow the intent of the structure to be the aesthetic.”
That philosophy serves as the groundwork for the Hellcat’s design, which is built around a solid aluminum engine case with elements of the frame bolted directly onto it. “Usually the frame is a cradle for the engine,” Jacobs explains. “Here you bolt the frame to the front and rear of the engine and the whole thing is a working structure.”
Ed Jacobs is easily one of the most respectable motorcycle designers of our time. Before joining Confederate Motorcycles, Ed spent 11 months living off the grid in a remote part ofIndia. He credits his time in the country with his first motorcycle experiences. With the new Hellcat being his latest and greatest creation, we eagerly await what comes next.
Confederate Motorcycles calls the X132 Hellcat a machine of heirloom quality. A modern day machine crafted to last an owner’s lifetime; to be passed on from one generation to the next. It may be a concept that has all but disappeared from our society, but this approach to building bikes is what makes Confederate Motorcycles a company to be applauded and the X132 Hellcat a machine to be loved.
This current generation Hellcat is hand built in Alabamaand will begin production at the rate of two units per week in January 2012 with production set to increase to four units per week in April 2012. Currently selling for US $45,000, the X132 Hellcat will increase in price to US $49,500 on March 1st, 2012.
“You hope that you will find in life things that are perfect, that are extraordinary examples of craftsmanship” said Dan Neil of the Wall Street Journal “that’s what this motorcycle is.”
Photographs courtesy of Confederate Motors Inc.