Thursday, February 21, 2008

An Automotive X-Prize Hopeful

A German automaker out of Munich is scheduled to release a production model entry for the Automotive X-Prize in 2009. The company boasts their 2-cylinder turbodiesel model, lightweight and aerodynamic, will attain an impressive 130 to 150 mpg. The car looks to be a mixed bag of ingenuity, and small sacrifices to economy. Instead of side opening doors the front of the car, windshield, steering column and all, tilt upward allowing driver and passenger to step into the tight cockpit "like stepping into a bathtub." The base model LS and a somewhat more powerful 3-cylinder GT model will debut in Europe, with plans to hit the US market the following year. The reviews anticipating this car are mixed, but then, nobody thought much of the Beetle at first either. With a price-tag under $20K and fuel economy of 150mpg, pocketbooks might be making all the decisions about this one.