Click above for a high-res image gallery of Lightning Hybrids LH4 renderings

In less than a month at the Denver Auto Show, a new contender for the Progressive Automotive X-Prize is scheduled to be revealed by a startup automaker called Lightning Hybrids. There's plenty of innovative thinking here, including the use of a 2-stroke engine running biodiesel mated with a hydraulic hybrid powertrain. Combined, the team of engineers behind the vehicle expects it to hit 100 miles per gallon and offer up 240 horsepower.

An aerodynamic shell is crucial when aiming for such high efficiencies, and the team seems to have achieved at least that part with a .20 Cd. The final form will be shod in carbon fiber for a light curb weight, which should also help the Lightning LH4 make the run to 60 mph in under six seconds.

If all goes to plan, which is certainly a very big "if", Lightning hopes to put its first cars into production sometime in 2010 with two cars that it's currently got on the drawing board. Of course, winning the $10 million X-Prize purse would likely go a long way towards achieving that lofty goal.

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