Design study: 127 mpg is possible with compromises
What technology would it take to produce a gasoline-powered car that could get 127 mpg on the highway?
The answer: very little that is not already on the road.
Lotus Engineering Ltd. has done an internal design study of a 1,150-pound three-seater powered by a 600cc two-cylinder motorbike engine. The designers chose an aluminum frame and composite body panels.
Darren Somerset, CEO of Lotus Engineering's North American operation, says the vehicle could be sold for $10,000.
The car has no instrument panel. Instead, the driver could check the vehicle's speed, fuel tank and climate control settings with a head-up display linked to the motorist's smartphone, which would be nestled in a docking station. The motorist would use voice commands to adjust heating, ventilation and other cockpit controls.
Somerset said the car could meet European crash standards with the help of some clever packaging.
The engine would be positioned underneath the rear seats, creating enough room in front for a proper crush zone for head-on collisions.
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