UK car manufacturer Axon Automotive has used the Milton Keynes Science Festival to preview its plug-in hybrid lightweight passenger car
. The car combines carbon fiber composite construction with a full electric mode for short-run local travel and a petrol or bioethanol-powered engine for longer distances or highway travel.
Britain's Axon claims that its newly patented mass-production techniques will make carbon composite car frames and bodywork even cheaper than their metal counterparts - and only 40% as heavy. What a revolutionary technology this could be - the power to weight ratio of any vehicle on the planet could be dramatically increased for no extra cost! The company plans to release a highly affordable 500cc passenger car making at least 100mpg from a basic petrol engine in 2010, and Axon is confident its simple, lightweight solution to the fuel economy challenge will be highly competitive against the big competition in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize
July 28, 2006 Caterham is famed for producing some of the fastest cars in the world, and we tend to give the cars regular coverage because they offer a bang-per-buck factor that’s right up there with their power to weight ratio. So what happens when you take a Caterham and refocus its 550 kg weight towards achieving efficient fuel consumption rather than in getting there quickly? A modified Caterham Seven Roadsport 1.6-litre 16-valve K Series sports car was entered in the recent Shell Eco-Marathon. A bit of aerodynamic modification and a set of narrow low rolling resistance tyres were the main changes alongside some economic driving techniques to ensure it maximised every drop of fuel. The sportscar was the only road registered car in the event and the team was hoping for 100mpg. On the day, it recorded 131 miles per gallon.