A car with a motorcycle engine that gets 129 mpgIt's the strange little car that might be making an appearance on a roadway near you. Virginia-based Edison2 showed off the latest version of their super fuel-efficient Very Light Car, signaling a possible move towards to production.
The VLC could become one of the first truly futuristic car designs to make it to consumers. It began as 2010 as the Automotive X Prize top prizewinner, and the company has tweaked its design to appeal to consumer tastes. It's super aerodynamic body recorded the lowest drag ever for a multiple passenger car at GM aerodynamics lab and it's aluminum frame and light one-cylinder engine keeps the car under 1,000 pounds. While the first version was about enhancing the technology, the new design is meant to address consumer's needs such as more interior space and better handling.
"The auto industry has been refining the same architecture for more than 50 years, and Edison2 has created a new path - a new way of building a car that has many environmental and economic benefits," said Oliver Kuttner, CEO and Founder of Edison2.
The aerodynamic design gives the car an incredible 129 mpg. The tall skinny tires contain a system of in-wheel suspension and help to further reduce wind resistance.
Edison2 has yet to announce plans to move into production, but this further tweaking of the design is a sign that these strange vehicles may become available to the public. Assuming that the VLC can satisfy motor vehicle safety regulations, Edison2 has put the starting cost at under $20,000.
This article originally appeared in AOL Autos »
April 11, 2013
(Dearborn, Mich. – April 5, 2013) –Edison2, the winners of the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, will unveil their latest Very Light Car (VLC) architecture on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at The Henry Ford. This special press conference will begin at 2 p.m. next to the organization's original winning VLC on display inside Henry Ford Museum's Driving America exhibit.
After their 2010 X Prize victory, Edison2 went to work designing the next VLC. The new prototype is designed to address to consumers' needs and incorporates lessons learned from the prestigious X Prize competition.
Edison2's new VLC has remarkable handling, structural integrity and aerodynamics, made possible by its unique modular architecture. This architecture gave birth to the world's most efficient four passenger vehicle, one of which now resides inside Henry Ford Museum's Driving America exhibit. Many core technologies have been improved in new prototype, including a newly designed in-wheel suspension system, a more efficient aerodynamic shape with beautiful aesthetics and more interior space, and other refinements throughout the vehicle. Edison2's architecture has a promising future in domestic and international markets; it makes low investment, U.S. manufacture possible, and has applications in suspension and vehicle segments far beyond Edison2's current designs.
"We are proud to unveil our new VLC architecture here at The Henry Ford, directly next to our history making X Prize VLC," Edison2's CEO and founder, Oliver Kuttner remarked. "The auto industry has been refining the same architecture for more than 50 years, and Edison2 has created a new path - a new way of building a car that has many environmental and economic benefits. Much of this relies on Edison2's in-wheel suspension which can be seen on the VLC prototype we will be displaying."
Oliver Kuttner, a Charlottesville, Virginia entrepreneur and lifelong auto enthusiast, founded Edison2 LLC in 2007. He assembled a top-tier team of racing and aerospace engineers, designers and mechanics for the X Prize competition. For Hi-res photos visit the Edison2 website www.edison2.com/for-media/.
Edison2 combines sound physics with innovative design to produce workable and sustainable transportation solutions. They won the top prize ($5 million) in the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize with the Very Light Car (VLC), an unprecedented combination of light weight and low aerodynamic drag. Weighing 830 lbs and with a drag coefficient of 0.160 – lowest ever recorded at the GM Aero Lab for a 4 passenger car – the X Prize VLC achieved 110 MPGe (combined) and 129 MPGe (highway) at the X Prize, using a 250 cc internal combustion engine. In 2011, an all-electric VLC was rated at 350 MPGe in the EPA combined cycle, demonstrating the importance of platform efficiency. Since winning the X Prize, Edison2 has been working in their Lynchburg, Virginia facility on a stunning new version of the VLC. Although the next generation VLC uses the same architecture and virtues of efficiency that won Edison2 the X Prize, it is a completely new vehicle. It is designed to be capable of meeting regulatory requirements (beyond 2025 CO2 and MPG regulations), and will have production-car fit-and-finish, safety, comfort and handling at an affordable price.