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super efficient car

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jelloshotsrule, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. macrumors G3


    check out this vw prototype...

    the article pretty much says it all.
  2. macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Hey jello,

    I know its easy to register for the New York Times, but not all of us want to. Suppose you can post the article for the rest of us? ^_^
  3. macrumors 6502

    Re: super efficient car

    Yea, but what do you say? Love to hear what you think JSR... I think it's amazing...

    PS do you wash under the headband?
  4. macrumors G4

    name: lindows1

    password: lindows
  5. macrumors G3


    bums! ha

    actually, it signed me in automatically, so i didn't even realize the registration requirement.

    Hybrid That Gets 239 M.P.G., The

    You have to hand it to those hyperefficient Germans. While American auto manufacturers keep wailing about how devastating it would be if the government raised fuel-economy standards by one mile per gallon, the clever engineers at Volkswagen went ahead and unveiled a car this year that gets 239 m.p.g.

    Think how a car that gets 239 m.p.g. would stack up against our much-beloved gas guzzlers in a hypothetical ''race'' between the VW and an S.U.V. that gets 15 m.p.g. Starting in New York City, each vehicle is given -- let's be generous here -- 50 gallons of fuel to make a cross-country trip. While the S.U.V. would grind to a stop outside not-so-beautiful Gary, Ind., the 239 m.p.g. car could go all the way to Los Angeles and then have enough to go back to New York, back to L.A. once more, back to New York yet again and still have enough left over to make it to Chicago.

    The VW prototype, a sleek black two-seater with a single gull-wing door, looks like a cross between a Lamborghini and the Batmobile. It was built, in the understated words of one company spokesman, ''to show how state-of-the-art technology can be used to reduce fuel consumption and still come up with a safe, usable and roadworthy vehicle.''

    Several elements contribute to the car's performance. An ultraefficient diesel engine captures and stores energy when the driver hits the brakes, converting it to electricity that is then used to help propel the vehicle. The aerodynamic exterior cuts drag: wheels are sheathed in carbon fiber, and the car's designers dispensed with exterior mirrors, replacing them with tiny video cameras that display images on liquid-crystal screens on the dashboard.

    It also helps that the car is extraordinarily light. The engine weighs a mere 57 pounds, and a host of magnesium, titanium and aluminum components help keep the total mass down. But don't worry about safety. With its carbon-fiber composite exterior, crash tubes and air bags, the car has a safety rating equivalent to a racecar's. Though it may not go as fast as a Ferrari -- it cruises at 75 miles per hour -- it's fast enough for most drivers. Volkswagen doesn't currently have plans to mass-produce the vehicle, but it may harvest the car's innovative technologies for future versions of its more mainstream models.

    ps. i think it's amazing too bender. too bad they won't be mass producing any time soon. however, it's likely some of the tech will get into other cars (vw or otherwise) and allow for more efficient cars. now the US just needs to get their asses in gear.

    not only can US car companies not make such efficient cars, we can barely import from companies that do make such cars (e.g., smart car)
  6. macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    That is awesome!

    Only problem I see is the weight of the car...I understand it helps in the fuel efficiency, but imagine being stuck in a windy storm!
  7. macrumors 604


    That's Nothing, my car runs on corn oil.
    What none of you have heard of it?
    darn, it kicks.
    Max speed at something like 110... 360 MPG (Corn Oil) and basically the best car on the road... :D

    Acually I saw a electric proto-type in a race it smoked like everything there, w00t!
    Speed demon that thing is, darn lemme find link.... :eek:
  8. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    The VW car sounds nice, but you would really wouldn't want to travel across country in it. I hope that some day when the fuel cell cars come out they won't sacrifice looks for efficiency.

    But I'm not totally knocking it, you have to start somewhere.


    Attached Files:

  9. macrumors G3


    the fact is, we're pretty much trained to think that bigger is better in cars. and certainly that "small" cars are toys. they can't burn it off the line.

    so yeah, they're going to look "unattractive" to most of the people.

    personally, i think the smart car and this prototype as well as the sparrow are quite awesome looking. i guess in the same way i see the imac looking good or the powerbook. sleek and aerodynamic.
  10. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    it is a prototype and it does have some serious issues - seats two, passenger behind the 'pilot' and is much smaller than everything out there - its not going to hold up in a crash and it certainly doesn't have side impact zones or airbags.

    The fuel cell cars will change all of this - the whole engine system is on the bottom 10" or so of the car, everything above it can be made however you'd like. It will be very cool and much better for the environment.

  11. macrumors 601


    it seems that you're joking, but my car actually _can_ run on veggie oil.

    i've taken it to about 100mph, i get 40 mpg city/55 mpg highway. w/ diesel, anyway -- i haven't actually stuck veggie oil in (yet).
  12. macrumors 601


    from the article:

    btw, "racecar" is my favorite single-word palindrome.
  13. macrumors G3


    good call zimv. was going to point that out myself.

    and i don't see 2 seats or passenger behind the driver as a "flaw"... that's part of why it's able to be so efficient. not as wide, and not as big.

    these clearly arne't for carting your kids around or driving to home depot to gte some lumber... but for the suburbanites driving just themselves to and from work each day... perfect.

    but then again, it's not attractive. hmm....... ehh, no one will notice anyway, too busy talking on cellies.
  14. macrumors 6502



    Now THAT is waging war on terrorism (not to mention environmental decay). heh heh heh

    Keep it up Germany. I don't agree with your stand towards us in our current struggle, but I do so love your engineering innovativeness.
  15. macrumors 601



    the germans are leading the way w/ efficient cars.

    recently, audi and VW have prototyped 3L cars -- cars that can go 100 km on 3 liters = 78.66 mpg (btw, the VW this thread is about a 1L car!)

    audi A2 3L

    VW Lupo 3L

    (sorry they're not in english)

    the two 3L models run on diesel -- modern diesel engines are incredibly efficient (much more so than modern gas engines). i have one and get 40/55 mpg. it's 90hp and actually has decent acceleration.

    the 3L models are "regular" subcompact cars -- they seat 4 or 5 adults, don't have a peculiar shape.

    so this technology is here today. why aren't US manufacturers using it?
  16. macrumors 6502


    You need to ask? Oil is money, and money talks louder than most things. I'm sure these will be just as popular in Saudi Arabia.

    Too bad. I'm gonna get one of these new hyper-efficient cars as soon as the technology's been around a few years and has been proven reliable.
  17. macrumors 604



    Weight isn't necessary to keep a car stable in wind it's how aerodynamic it is.

    Go drive a '85-'87 CRX and you will understand. They weight about 1800lbs but when going down the road you don't notice cross winds and you can blow by a semi truck going the othere way at high speeds without holding the wheel.
  18. macrumors 601


    nope. but i like it when others make the point i'm already thinking :)

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