Canadian Zoltan Bod is a self-proclaimed "car and performance nut" who has built his very own, very efficient, 151 mpg (1.56 L/100 km) concept car. Dubbed Zoleco (which merges part of Bod's name with the word "eco"), it is designed with ergonomic considerations and seats up to four passengers comfortably. It also features a teardrop body shape and a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, along with thermal and braking energy recovery technologies, that conserve as much energy as possible. The result is a sporty and eco-friendly car that we're told is fun to drive.
Bod's passion for mechanics started at the age of 14, when he built his first three-wheeled go-kart for scooting around the farm. At 18 he began a three-year project to create a radical custom hot rod pickup out of a 1950 A40 Austin, which won first place in 1979 at the Pacific National Exhibition car show. Since then, Bod has been dedicated to his love of speed and mechanics, and has been involved with many automotive restorations. "Now I reached a point in my life where I am compelled to focus all my experience into creating a car that is exciting to look at and to drive," he says. "All the while knowing that the energy management abilities that it possesses are helping to point the way to a sustainable future."
According to Bod, the Zoleco's lightweight body and drag reduction design offers an 82 percent reduction in fuel consumption over your typical small car with the same engine. "All indications are that the Zoleco will require 8.2 hp to maintain 65 mph [104 km/h]," says Bod. "Taking a look at it from a Bonneville Salt Flat perspective, indications are that the 80hp available with the baseline engine could feasibly push the Zoleco to just over 145 mph [233 km/h] with minimal wind noise."
Bod is currently fine-tuning the current technologies of the prototype, whilst also looking into creating an advanced cylinder head configuration. This is all with the hope of building "production cars that will surpass the original proof of concept's energy conserving achievements" he says.
In the meantime, he is also considering the possibility of selling a homebuilt kit for those that want a hands-on and cost-effective way of acquiring their very own Zoleco.