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330mpg hybrid coupé will cost $20,000

01 January, 2006

330mpg hybrid coupé will cost $20,000

A Californian start-up company has designed a two-seater hybrid-electric coupé that it claims will achieve up to 330 mpg (700ml/100km) and cost less than $20,000. Accelerated Composites says that its Aptera coupé achieves this performance through a combination of factors including its advanced aerodynamics, the extensive use of lightweight composites, and a patent-pending drive technology that marries a 9kW diesel engine with a standard 18.6kW permanent magnet DC motor.

The three-wheeled car has a lower drag factor than any mass-produced car. "It looks like nothing you`ve ever seen, because it performs like nothing you`ve ever seen," says AC`s founder and chief executive, Steve Fambro. "What we`ve done is changed the way cars are thought of and designed."

The 385kg, 4.4m-long car uses a low-cost proprietary composite construction and has a similar "crash box" protection cell to Formula One racing cars to ensure passenger safety. It will use regenerative braking and store energy in super-capacitors. It is designed to reach 60mph (96km/h) in 11 seconds and to have an electronically-limited top speed of 95 mph (153km/h).

"We are very serious about this - we`re going to produce and sell these cars," says Fambro. "We`ve got a perfectly timed, market-busting product."

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