Making vehicles lighter has become a key element in the battle to reduce emissions and fuel consumption: however, few vehicles go as far as to actually being named as a “Very Light Car”.
However, that’s the case for the next generation version of the light-weight fuel efficient car that was entered into the Progressive Automotive XPRIZE back in 2010. Known as the Very Light Car 4.0 (pictured), it is being produced thanks to a partnership between Edison 2 and Altair ProductDesign.
The original version of the vehicle, which won a $5million prize in the Mainstream Class, used a one-cylinder internal combustion engine. Now the next generation Very Light Car will retain the same attributes as well as boasting an aerodynamic improvement. It features smoother curves that help to offset the drag associated with requirements such as bumpers and mirrors: and the new shape also aids driver visibility.
In addition, ride quality has been improved thanks to larger wheels which allow for more in-wheel suspension travel; while the interior has a lower doorsill and a sophisticated fit-and-finish.
Meanwhile, Altair ProductDesign conducted a three-phase engineering study aimed at targeting suspension sensitivity and structural optimisation. Altair will also provide computer-aided engineering optimisation, multi-body dynamics engineers and senior technical specialists.
The vehicle already set numerous records in the Mainstream Class to secure the XPRIZE, including the lowest drag co-efficient ever recorded at the GM Aero Lab and the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in the competition at 82.6g.
Paul is a freelance writer with a background in everything from motoring to finance; and holidays to women's undergarments he just writes about them, honestly! He has now sadly crept into his early 30s and seems to have forgotten everything learned at school Still, he's a green car fanatic and isn't that what counts?
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