Beth, this is what we have to do to get to real fuel efficiency in cars. I am very interested in seeing how the compliant car works and what type of gas mileage they can get out of it. I really like the appoach,and the emphasis on physics rather than some alternative. If they can get 80 or more MPG from the ICE powered car, then they will be up there with the hybrids. It will be important to see what type of crash rating they can get. That will be critical for gaining consumer acceptance beyond a small niche market.
With a 250 cc engine, probably about 40 BHP max. and that low weight of 830 pounds...(empty weight?) how does it handle? Now, with 4 adults on-board? It would be very interesting to know the basic numbers, acceleration, breaking, turning, and something about safety, otherwise it remains in that nebulous category of the prototypes.
@Amclaussen: It still is in the nebulous category of prototypes, so I'm not privvy to that information. But good questions, all the same, and definitely ones they'll need to address as they get further into the commercialized version of the original VLC design.
Does every fringe hybrid or electric vehicle have to look wacky is some way like Homer Simpson's car?
These lightweight concept cars are so lightweight, they are scary to the average driver. My old 1985 Ford Crown Vic LTD would cut through where cars like butter on the road. Perhaps they should take some design cues from Tesla Motors Model S and Roadster, 89 MPGe and 119 MPGe respectively. They are efficient and look great.
Keep this in mind, the Toyota Prius has a curb weight of 2921 lbs and gets 50 MPGe. I am sure if Toyota removed as superfluous devices, tech, and comforts , it could get in the 100 range.
Now, if they would only adapt it for the consumer.
The basic design of the front end is a little reminiscent of some of the early designs of the Tucker. Per the movie, the fenders were to rotate when the front wheels turned. The idea was scrapped due to aerodynamic concerns. I wonder if this iteration will be better.
@JCA: I have to agree that some of these cars looks so sci-fi and out there, it's hard to imagine them in any kind of commercialized form. That said, if you compare the cars from the 60s and into the 70s with today's aerodynamic designs, at the time, they would have seemed pretty farfetched. I suppose it's all relative.
What's interesting about the photograph is that it looks like it started out as a 3 wheeler then had the rear wheels tacked on as an after thought. Since 3 wheelers are regarded as motorcycles could it be that an alternative is provided here which fits in with that market and achieves the 100 mpg for a 2 place 3 wheeler?
Fifty-six-year-old Pasquale Russo has been doing metalwork for more than 30 years in a tiny southern Italy village. Many craftsmen like him brought with them fabrication skills when they came from the Old World to America.
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