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Thursday, February 21, 2008

 

The Lotus of gas mileage?

Philip emailed me this link to an interesting effort at building a 150 mpg car. It's not from one of the big automakers, but from an upstart called Loremo. This one isn't a hybrid, either. Instead, in the great Colin Chapman tradition, they've decided to "simplify and add lightness." It's not exactly fast since it only has 20 hp, but with a sub-600 kg (that's 1,320 lbs), it's not much heavier than a typical Lotus Seven knock-off. Only a Seven doesn't have a roof, or air bags, or a back seat - all of which are standard on the Loremo. It's kind of like a revived CRX in many ways, and might even be fun to autocross.

But one thing worries me: It uses a front-opening door, Isetta-style. This sounds like it would create the same safety hazard it did on the Isetta - if you're in a head-on collision, how do you open the door to get out? It looks like it may be possible to get out the hatchback in a Loremo, which could be a way around that problem.

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