Dreaming of rocketing down the Autobahn in the Acabion fuel-sipper

The German magazine Der Spiegel got a chance to check in with Peter Maskus, who has been developing the needle-shaped Acabion for 18 years, at a cost of 1.8 million Euros. The Acabion is not a practical car (it's a gymnastic feat just to get inside), but after almost two decades of work, Maskus has created a vehicle that can go 450 km/h (about 280 mph) using much less fuel thank other speed racers.

Acabion is a prototype and is powered by a Suzuki 1.3 liter, four-cylinder turbo motorcycle motor. Aside from the speed performance aspect, Maskus wanted to make a vehicle that is careful with the environment. To that end, the Acabion weighs just 360 kilos (about 800 pounds). Maskus told Der Spiegel online that getting up to 400 km/h within one kilometer would take just 2.5 liters of fuel (compare this to the 1.9 ton Bugatti Veyron, which needs more distance and uses 24.1liters). The Acabion's low weight is the key.

"My example for things efficient is the bicycle," Maskus said. "It weighs ten, twelve kilograms and carries a person easily forward."

The balancing wheels are currently only used for, well, balance, but Maskus has a plan to have them provide power in certain circumstances, like when driving over snow. Next year, Maskus plans on building a second, higher-end Acabion prototype. His dream is to make limited edition Acabions (redesigned to eliminate the gymnastics) that run on biodiesel or a 20 kW electric motor, with a top speed of around 200 km/h.

If you can read German, the original article is here, otherwise, try the Google Translate version here (it's not that good). The information above is from my own translation, so any errors are my fault. The Acabion website is here.

[Source: Der Spiegel / J├╝rgen Pander, hat tip to Hans Wurst]

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