How to Build a 100 MilePerGallon Car Right Now Popular Mechanics

26 мая 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz Bionic

How to Build a 100 Mile-Per-Gallon Car. Now

With gas prices at historic PM consults some of the best in automotive design and engineering on how to hit the big milestone in fuel economy. a four-door that gets 100 mpg is possible#151;today, with modern Here’s the plan.

Rolling Along

Any weight-reduction plan to account for wheels and tires. As elements spin, their in effect, increases. As a rule of the rotating weight of a spinning is 1.5 times its actual mass#151;so is an area where trimming really pays off. a British wheel manufacturer, has a very light wheel a magnesium center and carbon-fiber rim that’s now being used by exotic-car maker Mosler They cost about 40 more than our standard says Mosler engineering Todd Wagner. But we save 11 pounds on each wheel.

For fuel efficiency, tires be designed for minimal rolling skinny, with a shallow and the ability to hold their at speed. The lowest rolling would be something like a wheel, which doesn’t Thomas says. The price is a harsher ride and somewhat handling#151;necessary tradeoffs in the search for performance. A study by the Transportation Board, commissioned by the National Traffic Safety Administration, that cutting resistance by 10 yielded a 1 to 2 percent improvement in gas

Honda Insight

On the market since 1999, the small, Honda Insight was a harbinger of the mania and advanced technology to Devotees continue to modify Insights; some owners well over 100 mpg.

manufacturers already use silica in the compound to help lower resistance. David Van Emburg, North America’s product director, says we could see exotic tires with 20 lower rolling resistance today’s models. And, a tire that could its environment and adjust air pressure to rolling resistance#151;essentially a tire active pressure management. We our group in Milan looking technology embedded in tires. certainly thinkable, says Carpino, director of RD for Pirelli America.

Slicing Through the Air

are critical for good fuel on the highway. The aerodynamics become a exponentially the faster you go, says Plavetich. A low-slung, top-speed isn’t exactly the best for shuttling the kids to school. But the Bionic Car concept could do the Its fishlike profile is tall and but it is one of slipperiest designs ever for a passenger car. The shape the 2888-pound concept deliver a 84 mpg on the highway.

Bionic Car

This concept car Mercedes-Benz has a tall, narrow with a coefficient of drag of 0.19. That’s about 50 slipperier than most family sedans.

You can get to a fairly frontal area by going and tall#151;a cross section feels a little more and vertical but slender, says Reed, who chairs the Transportation Department at the Art Center College of in Pasadena, Calif. We’re in the wind tunnel that you do on the bottom of the car can be more profound the roof shape, he says. In the rear of the car needs to be either and attenuated or abruptly cut off, says. A car’s wake can a detrimental effect on the mileage by a partial vacuum behind the tugging it backward.

An interior of the fuel-sipping concept car from

A teardrop shape with all wheels enclosed would be But front wheels need to to steer the car. Skirts move with the wheels work. So would active Juechter likes the idea of a car changes shape. As speed the car would morph into a Neither technology yet exists.

the People

Small, fuel-sipping are common in Europe. The three-cylinder unit in Mercedes-Benz’s funky FourTwo CDI is the world’s smallest the car gets around 60 mpg. regulations make passenger-car rare in the United States. But will soon introduce an Bluetec diesel that new, even more 2007 federal standards.

Diesels are going to be more and prominent in the years ahead, says. If you combine a clean-burning with a hybrid electric system in a lightweight car, I 100 mpg is doable.

The diesel portion of drivetrain is well-established. The electric is still evolving. Today’s use nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) battery These deliver the needed voltage, but are somewhat limited in storage ability. Lithium-ion those in your laptop, and, increasingly, power generating the biggest buzz.

The for better batteries on hybrid-electric is on everyone’s mind, says Dan manager of the Advanced Power Department at Sandia National Li-ion batteries have distinct advantages over They contain 50 percent charge per unit mass and only one-third as many to achieve a given voltage.

1-Liter Car

VW developed this two-seater to use less than 1 of fuel per 100 kilometers. That out to about 240 mpg. The 0.3-liter one-cylinder engine, however, doesn’t have what it to handle U.S. interstates.

today’s lithium-ion batteries are two to times more expensive NiMH batteries. Also, lithium-ion’s life span long enough for automakers’ Thermal management is an issue, If a cell is damaged and you have an short circuit, the battery release that energy and it explode, Doughty says.

Mercedes-Benz Bionic

Doughty estimates that technology will be ready for use in two to four years. A nice about batteries is that can be recharged from more one source. Tapping into the grid is one option; there are more self-sufficient technologies#151;which us back to Steve Lapp. cells like his could the extra energy needed to a diesel-hybrid car into the high-mileage end

Large, roof-mounted solar like Lapp has on his Prius limited appeal, but there are approaches. Energy Conversion is among a handful of companies have developed amorphous material#151;a thin film can be contoured to any surface. Some all of a car’s horizontal surfaces harvest energy to feed the pack.

Volkswagen Lupo 3L TDI

small front-drive hatchback has a three-cylinder engine, airbags, ABS and seats for four. It is also 330 lighter than a standard and gets about 80 mpg. it sold poorly and was dropped by VW.

recharging can be enhanced further by the regenerative braking power of all wheels, as Toyota’s Highlander does, rather than two, as in the Prius. Toyota’s speculates that using the system can yield up to a 2 percent gain over a two-wheel

As an additional measure, using insulation and electrochromic (self-darkening) could minimize the need for climate control systems. Hopkins thoroughly insulated the compartment of an experimental car when she on the government/industry collaborative Partnership for a New of Vehicles project. Her team ultralightweight, ultrahigh-performance, xenon-gas-filled panels in the doors, roof, and floor of the project Taurus. they coated the windows solar-control film to block the hot of the sun. We were able to heating and cooling loads by 70 to 80 she says.

Building What Buy

Clearly, a car that gets 100 mpg time you drive can be designed and But, absent government or far higher fuel prices consumer demand, will any car actually do it?

There’s no business for it, says GM’s Juechter. How people would spend on a car that would ultimately them a few thousand dollars on over the life of the car? the worst-case scenario in terms of estimates, but there’s little that a 100-mpg car would thousands more than bigger, more powerful

Small, clean diesel run about $3000 and you can add another for the hybrid, Cole says. So looking at a $6000, $8000 or $9000 premium for just the powertrain. And we haven’t even about the cost of the materials.

Few drivers would ever up the cost premium at the pump. working out the requirements of a 100-mpg car it clear just how feasible it be to build, say, a 75-mpg far less money. Besides, money isn’t the only people choose a car. It fashionable to drive SUVs they projected an image of and an active lifestyle. It’s to imagine drivers being to the environmental and national security of efficiency#151;and to the cutting-edge engineering, as

So perhaps people have asking the wrong question all It’s not, Why can’t build a 100-mpg car? but Do we really want one?

Mercedes-Benz Bionic
Mercedes-Benz Bionic
Mercedes-Benz Bionic
Mercedes-Benz Bionic
Mercedes-Benz Bionic


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