Many of Charles Bombardier’s designs and ideas are performance orientated with speed, handling, or deep snow capability. The Ionos concept is still a look into the future with an “emission free” ride, but was thought of through the eyes of a family exploring with only one driver and one vehicle.

This is going to come as a shock to some, but not all snowmobiles are built to hit warp speed across a lake, carve through corners with precision, or be able to go through the deepest of deep snow with tall verticals. Some snowmobiles were designed with a purpose, or maybe something that you have never thought of. One thing is true, that Charles Bombardier thinks beyond the stereotypical snowmobile design, and comes up with many different variations and uses for a snowmobile.

A special track slip detector (TSD) system is needed to help the twin track Ionos with cornering and handling. 

Charles Bombardier is a father, so we knew it was only a matter of time before one of his concepts would be based around the snowmobiling family. The Ionos is capable of carrying one driver and three passengers in single line seating. When the idea of the Ionos came to Charles, he took himself back to 1987, where he spent some time aboard a Ski-Doo Stratos. He pictured taking his family out for a scenic and peaceful snowmobile ride, and what he would like to have had offered to him back when he was aboard the Stratos. While thinking about the ride with fresh snow, more and more ideas started with this scene.

The Ionos would be powered by motorised sprockets, spinning two tracks out the back. With the size of this snowmobile, twin tracks would be necessary to provide a stable ride on the trails, and would also reduce the roll and drag. The Ionos was not designed for deep snow, but would nicely float down the trail. Abandon railbeds, old forest access roads, and wider trails would be an ideal place for the Ionos to excel.

Remove 3 of the 4 seats and the Ionos turns into a very capable vehicle for a hunter or contractor, with the added space for cargo.

EXTRA TRAVEL

While the design only incorporated eight full inches of travel to absorb the first impact along the trail, it also allows a minimum of an additional three inches of suspension in each one of the four individual seats. This allows for more of a custom ride for each passenger, and it would adapt to the weight of the passenger, and further adjustments could be made through vocal commands via a Bluetooth helmet link. This would make suspension adjustments and refinements easy on the fly.

MAXIMUM COMFORT

What is the perfect temperature for snowmobiling? If you ask ten people, you could expect ten different answers. Questions similar to that is why snowmobiles have adjustments, and these adjustments are critical to make an ultimate snowmobile experience for each and every rider. The Ionos’ four seats could have a liquid circulating in them to heat or cool to the preference of each rider. Inductive plates embedded in the footrests of the Ionos would create a magnetic field to transfer electricity wirelessly to the full suit of the driver and passengers. This would allow the riders boots, gloves, and actual suit to generate heat for climate control, and a power augmented device in the helmet.

It all starts with a piece of paper and an imagination.

MORE TECHNOLOGY

With the focus of Charles’s Ionon snowmobile around family use, it would have sensors to detect trail debris like animals, people and other snowmobiles. With the twin track design, a Track Slip Detector (TSD) system could predict if the Ionos is going to over-steer/under-steer in an upcoming corner. The system would calculate this by examining the trail ahead, the load on each seat, the speed, trail conditions, and driving history in the area, amongst other data. The TSD would also help prevent the Ionos from flipping over, and it would also be able to share its data with other “smart” snowmobiles.

SPECIALISED MARKET

There are a few different markets where the Ionos could be a good fit.

For the family that uses the Ionos, it could prove to be the ultimate family truckster. There are a lot of different accessories, clothing and parts that could be sold to customize this snowmobile. Specialty trailers to tow the Ionos could be designed to bring everything that any family member could use, and the individual seats could tilt, giving each rider their own personal ride. Other types of add-ons could be armrests, side panels, backrests, etc.

With the 4 single inline seats, families, tour guides and the military could all effectively use the Ionos.

The seats behind the driver could all be removed on the Ionos, which would help contractors and hunters alike with additional cargo space. Other accessories this market would want would be racks, special tie points, and tool and gun storage.

Similar to the needs of a contractor, if the seats were removed, it could carry a stretcher, or with the seats it could be used as a way to move, search and rescue, and/or move military personal around. Again, the accessories would be endless from this perspective, making the Ionos a very interesting vehicle design.

With the zero emissions that the Ionos produces, as well as the ability to take three passengers with a driver, we think that a tour company would like this unit. A guiding service, especially like those that visit Old Faithful in West Yellowstone National Park, could use the Ionos to take families and tour groups into the park in a safe manner.

A heated cab, like those similar to a side by side, would take this type a travel to another level when visiting OId Faithful in West Yellowstone.

With a special red paint scheme, Santa could have the seats removed, and he’d have ample room for his special toy sack. We’re pretty confident to say that there would be less upkeep and less feed needed to keep the Ionos working for a year, compared to Santa’s old sleigh and reindeer.

Like all of Charles’s designs, they do start discussions, and inspire others and their ideas.

THE DESIGNER

The Ionos concept was imagined in June 2019 by Charles Bombardier, and designed by Jorge Ciprian. Jorge is an Industrial Designer from Argentina, and graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and currently works as a freelance designer. Jorge has also created the images of the Aeole SSV/Drone combo which appeared in volume 16, issue 3 of ATV World Magazine.

About Charles Bombardier

The grandson of Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Charles has a wealth of experience in the design and engineering of vehicles during his time at BRP including the Can-Am Traxter, the second generation Ski-Doo Elite and the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. In 2008 Bombardier founded a private Research and Development Centre and developed electric urban transporters and electric ATV prototypes. With a passion for innovation, Charles is deeply involved within the design community and acts as an expert and a consultant to support investors, companies and basically anyone interested in new applications for mechanical engineering. His website www.charlesbombardier.com promotes open innovation and along with a team of designers they are constantly dreaming, innovation, and creating new concepts and publishing them for all to see. As Charles puts it, “Our mission is to inspire kids, students, inventors and tinkerers to improve existing modes of transportation and imagine what the future holds for us. We share our concepts with the world so they can grow faster, evolve and become reality one day.”