Fairly frequently we write about ultra-green cars. And fairly frequently, we receive the following comment, "That's great, but why to they have to be so effing UGLY!" My answer for you today is: THEY DON'T. Case: The Loremo.
There actually seems to be a renaissance in automobile design with (fingers crossed) ever more attention on energy efficiency and environmental responsibility along with pure stylistic beauty. The Loremo (Low Resistance, Mobile) is one of those highly efficient beautiful vehicles that we can hope (cross your fingers too) will be on the road soon. The Loremo is a super efficient vehicle, with the two-cylinder version claimed at 188 miles per gallon. There are three principle features driving that mileage performance:
- The aerodynamics, obviously
- Weight reduction: under 1000 pounds for the vehicle
- Reduced "performance": the 2-cyclinder engine goes 0-60 in 20 seconds (e.g., performance in terms of 'fun'/mileage comes at the expense of acceleration/engine power -- okay, so maybe some would demand the 3 cyclinder version, which still gets over 100 mpg)
It's a simple idea: Weight and air resistance are decisive for fuel consumption of vehicles. Reducing these factors will reduce consumption. And the more you reduce the more efficient you will drive. Lightness instead of mass: a principle which has proven reliable for generations in the fields of sports.
But how does it do it? First, it's a very small car. But it does manage to squeeze in four seats (though entirely without a trunk). Also, the back seat is reversed allowing for a smoother aerodynamic profile. Though, speaking from personal experience, riding like this can be less comfortable, and more nauseating.
As to the pleasure of driving, The Loremo has many "007 cool" features, such as the opening hatch, which takes the steering wheel with it and, according to Loremo, contributes to its safety. In fact, the car only has two "doors," one that includes the front window, and one for the back. Loremo has entered the vehicle into the automotive X-Prize. So far, it's the best concept we've seen, and furthest along in achieving the X-Prize's goal of creating a salable car that gets 250 mpg. The problem, of course, is that the Loremo can't do much more to bring down its mileage. Except, of course, make it a hybrid.
So, of course, Loremo is looking into both hybrid and electric versions. These would have higher power, relative to the diesel engine (solving that acceleration issue?). But getting to 250 mpg would still be a huge challenge. Nonetheless, the Loremo is the only car that I've seen with a chance at getting this mileage that isn't either straight-up ugly, or entirely impractical. It's also the only one that I've seen that is taking safety standards seriously.
Note, for the electric, they express a specific German concern:
We are also working with external partners to explore the options for an electric Loremo, however, at the current state of the generation of renewable energy, a large number of electric cars would prevent the boom in solar power from bringing down the number of coal or nuclear power stations.
And, as for the hybrid concept, "with an electrical range of 6 to 12 miles the hybrid Loremo could be driven into city centres that are banned for cars with internal combustion engines." Now, if that is a plug-in hybrid at 12 miles (preferably more), that truly extends the mileage per gallon of liquid fuel. A Plug-In, Hybrid, Bio-Diesel Loremo, now that is something to look forward to. Click for Large Images
If it drives as well as it looks...
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I kept looking
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Please learn to read
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CA smog rules
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Ugly? Who cares?
written by williamjacobs, May 01, 2009
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