Way back in the early 1960s, famed designer Raymond Leowy locked himself and his team in a rented house for five weeks with the intent of designing an exciting new sports coupe for Studebaker. The result was known as the Avanti, and it's often looked back upon as one of the most attractive automotive designs of the era. At least one competitor for the upcoming Progressive Automotive X-Prize must agree with that assessment, as the team from Enertia Motors is using one of the old fiberglass-bodies Studebakers as the basis of its high-mpg entry.

In place of the original 289 cubic-inch V8 engine sits a twin-cylinder engine from Kubota running on biodiesel, which spins an onboard generator that charges a dozen lead acid batteries (if it goes into production, the Enertia team plans to use Firefly batteries). Enertia expects its diesel-electric Studebaker Avanti to match the 120 mile per hour top speed of the original and be able to travel 100 miles per initial charge while averaging over 100 miles per gallon thereafter.

[Source: Enertia Motors, Wired]

Share This Photo X