Saturday, February 23, 2008

The car I've been waiting for: 150 MPG

I've been keeping the old Honda Civic until the next level of affordable technology comes along. And here it is:

The German made Loremo.

I knew a car like this would be possible. Leave it to German engineering to make it a reality. It is scheduled for production next year.

It looks better and is even more efficient than the Smart Car, already common in Europe and now available in the US.

There are 2 Loremo models: the LS and the more powerful GT. They look exactly alike. Both have A/C, airbags, on board navigation system, radio, and mp3 player. The GT gets around 95 mpg with a top speed of 124 mph out of it's 50 hp, 3 cylinder turbo diesel. These cars are also designed to perform well in crash tests. The LS model has significantly less horse power (20 hp) from it's 2 cylinder turbo diesel but still manages a top speed of 100 mph and gets an astonishing 150 mpg. The LS model is at $15000 Euro ($22,228) and the GT at $20,000 Euro ($29, 600). [The dollar sure is taking a beating these days!].

The Loremo is expected to compete for the Automotive X-Prize. The competition requires significant energy and emissions goals most importantly, fuel economy with at least 100 mpg or its equivalent. (The guidelines are replacing the outdated MPG with this new standard, MPGe, which takes into account energy equivalents, no matter what the energy source).

US car makers are reportedly ignoring the X-Prize competition.

The old Honda I've had for 14 yrs has served me well with nearly 200,000 miles and rarely any mechanical issues. I bought it used for $4800 in 1994 and it runs perfectly, everything works. I've never bought a new car, and likely never will .... unless a Loremo dealer comes anywhere close. I would hope to see American research and development going toward similar vehicles (but it seems America has other expensive priorities at this time).

Anyone who has spent time in Europe knows how small their cars are in comparison. In Paris, I noted how many people commuted in the city on foot and by scooter. Even the finely dressed women would drive their BMW C-1 scooters that have a roof, windshield wipers and a rain curtain.

For simple commuting, it would be great to see this culture in America, it would help the economy, the environment, the cost of living and our dependence on foreign oil.

However, for specialized tasks, like towing and off roading, there is "no replacement for displacement".. as they say. Hopefully, American engineering can make more efficient heavy duty trucks, cause I need one. My Ford Expedition sure is an improvement over the old Bronco.

Actually, I already have a 90 MPG vehicle I often drive to work. Parking is no problem and it can go just about anywhere. It's one of a kind!

H/T: Glenn, Hobbs

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a friend told me about this car his mom is buying one. he is also. thanks you for a step up . from what we have now. i will buy one my self. teamester local 245 mo.