• Mar 16, 2010
Valentin Technologies IngoCar – Click above for high-res image gallery

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:
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.
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.

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.



[Source: Davide Tonizzo]



PRESS RELEASE

Valentin Technologies releases first images of the IngoCar.


Elm Grove, WI, March 1, 2010. - Valentin Technologies has given the public its first glimpse of its IngoCar with the release of three teaser sketches. The five -seat, four door, sportwagen is brimming with innovation.

The company's founder Ingo Valentin has stated that "Finally outstanding performance and extremely high mileage are combined in a mid-size passenger car."

The vehicle's estimated mileage is 170 mpg based on a mix of city and rural driving. 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.

Hydraulics is also used to create an innovative protection system for occupants. Hydraulic bumpers embedded in the car's structure can absorb impacts up to 40 mph. The accumulator's central placement and low center of gravity provide excellent handling characteristics. The small size of the accumulator and drive system allows for a roomy passenger area and large trunks front and rear giving 24 cubic feet of cargo carrying capacity (8/16 front/rear).

Styling for the car was provided by Davide Tonizzo, of designD. "Ingo wanted an image that reflected the car's performance and its low emissions. The words athletic and friendly inspired the design." The designer opted for a two box design with aero driven features including front and rear diffusers and very soft front corners. However, the designer adds, "It was important to give the car appeal. While we wanted an efficient aero design we didn't want to overdo the aeronautical character and create an airplane for the road." The styling remains modern and pleasant with distinctive Venturi-inspired lines on the side panels that pay tribute to the aero efficiency and help define the IngoCar brand.

Mr. Valentin says, "We are proud to unveil our vision of an automobile that has the style, interior space, comfort and cost of a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class combined with unprecedented range and fuel economy."

Valentin Technologies is based in Elm Grove, Wisconsin USA .The company develops new hydrostatic power trains for vehicles. Technical expertise is based on more than 15 years of product development with leading manufacturers in this field. For additional information go to: www.valentintechnologies.com

Davide Tonizzo is a Toronto-based car designer with a diverse range of clients. His projects have received numerous awards and have been featured in international design publications. Find out more about Davide Tonizzo at www.designd-online.com
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