Interested in a five-seat, four-door, sportwagen that "is brimming with innovation" and was designed in Elm Grove, WI? How about if the car were to get 170 miles per gallon? Yeah, that got our attention, too.
The car in question is the IngoCar from Valentin Technologies. But how does this mid-size passenger car wring that much distance out of a gallon of fuel? Here's how Valentin describes the powertrain:
Sound reasonable? It could work, but energy isn't free and we don't know how much of the energy spent to move the vehicle forward is recuperated back into the accumulator. Still, Valentin Technologies has a been working on hydrostatic powertrains for a while, so we're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now. An earlier version of the IngoCar got "just" 130 mpg and, but the designers dropped 600 pounds (down to 1,600 lbs.) and improved the engine efficiency by 20 percent. We want to see the technology in action, but Valentin says that $3.8 million would be needed to prototype the IngoCar.This extraordinary fuel efficiency is achieved by a revolutionary hydraulic-fluid drive. This hybrid gasoline/hydraulic drive system can deliver acceleration from 0-60 in 4 seconds. Using a small gasoline engine, fluid is pumped into an accumulator. The fluid then drives hydraulic wheel motors for shiftless acceleration. During braking, motors are reversed and pump the entire recuperated braking energy back into the accumulator. This innovative technology and the car's light weight give an estimated range of 1,000 miles for a full 6 gallon tank of fuel.
For now, we'll have to make due with the video posted after the jump and the first teaser sketches by Davide Tonizzo, of designD, from Toronto. Sure is a lot of the original Honda Insight and the Nissan Leaf in the rear end, don't you think? You can hear Tonizzo discuss his design on the CBC Radio show Metro Morning. Find the March 5th episode and click on "Futuristic Car Design" to listen.