In the early 1980s, a company called the Tomorrow Corporation (aka Owosso Motor Car Company) announced a strange-looking vehicle called the Litestar. The message that Tomorrow Corporation had, way before green vehicles became all the rage, was: "In the year 2000, most cars will get over 100 mpg and look like this. Why wait?"
To that end, the company made about 350 Litestar Pulse vehicles, starting in 1984. These 16-foot-long, six-foot-wide autocycles (a custom frame and body wrapped around a motorcycle engine) didn't quite get 100 mpg, but they were efficient little road rockets:
That's taken from the enthusiast site Autocycles.org (which is where we found most of the information for this post), the members of which still meet at an annual convention. The next one, the 13th annual, is scheduled for Labor Day. If you like what you see, don't bother heading to any dealership. The last Pulse was made in 1990 but, every now and then, these things pop up on eBay. The bright orange model on display here at the New York Auto Show and comes courtesy of the LeMay Museum.
The most outstanding performance characteristic is high fuel mileage. Owners report figures of 50-55 mpg when driving normal highway speeds. One customer claims 70 mpg using an oil additive to the gasoline. Test vehicles have achieved as high as 80 mpg under controlled conditions.
- New York 2011: Litestar Pulse
New York 2011: Litestar Pulse