Great stuff... But why do they always make em Fugugulee ?
Give me something that looks akin to a Valiant Charger or likewise.
Not a shopping trolley with a roof.
Paris.. well... cuz
It's just a car. it's called Axon, and it's just a car. It has a petrol engine, four wheels. So why is it supposed to be the greenest breakthrough in the automotive sector? Here's what it looks like... Axon Photo Gallery Axon Axon Axon And this it what it looks like on the inside... Axon
Not unlike the Honda Insight, which manages a mere 84mpg, but is faster and rather better looking (and has been around for 8 years)...
Making a tubular frame from carbon fibre is a solution no-one asked for, IMHO. Aluminium tubing is easy to form, easy to mend, easy to recycle and not much heavier.
I have a nice, lively 500cc engine in my motorbike, but it would be slug in a car...
Probably none by the looks of that skeleton picture.
Wouldn't like to be in the back seats during a rear-end shunt - there isn't much metal between the back of the car and the rear passengers.
Also, isn't it just the ugliest looking thing? And they take the mick out of the Dacia Sandaro on Top Gear!! Clarkson's going to have a field day with this one.
So, just another lot that ignore what *other* factors people consider when they purchase cars.
Safety is a big one, lighter cars fare much worse in any collision. Having seen a Nissan Micra crushed to little more than the passenger cell when it barely damaged the body coloured bumper of a Range Rover, I know that I want a decent amount of heavy metal around me. Airbag systems are bulky and heavy, look at how thick the A-pillars of cars are now to accomodate the airbags.
Comfort is another. A 500cc two stroke is going to be noisy as hell and stink of oil fumes. To be able to use such a tiny engine you *need* a light car so kiss creature comforts good bye. Mainstream cars are heavy for many reasons. All that sound-proofing, air conditioning, side impact bars, airbags etc adds weight and bulk. Tiny, under-powered cars are hell to drive on a motorway.
Usefulness. That thing look like it could carry a family? Didn't think so. You could barely get a regular family's weekly shopping in that thing. It's only useful for one person's short commute. If you only have one car it won't be this one...
Fuel economy is just one factor, and easily overridden by others.
The earliest car that focused on fuel efficiency was(IIRC) the Dymaxion. It was a long teardrop with the steering on the back wheel(seriously, WTF!?). The only prototype was destroyed when the driver turned the wheel wrong, forgetting to turn it the opposite of the way he wanted to go. Since this was ~WWII, it was the only attempt for a few decades. Enter the Information Age. All cars are designed like crap and the fuel efficient ones are twice as bad, not to mention worthless in a crash. If you ask me, the best way to approach the issue is to take an already heavy vehicle(like a pickup), beef up its suspension and shove batteries where the gas tank and motor used to be(the reasoning behind this is that you can fit more batteries in the larger vehicles, especially if you put some where the big toolbox goes in the bed).
Of course, I'll always prefer the car that can total every other car on the road and drive away like nothing happened(paint job can take as much damage as it wants; I don't care).
Glider fuselages and cockpits have been made of carbon fibre for years ... and there are significant crashworthiness issues. Carbon fibres is so brittle that there is very little nergy absorbtion - it tends to disintegrate into a vast number of horribly sharp pieces. The cockpit areas of gliders therefore have a few layers of glass as well to absorb energy and produce softer - more "torn" edges.
Using alumimium or compistes to do the structural work of steel in a conventional car is easy. It's using them to absorb energy in crashes which is difficult.
If it only has a 500cc engine then they can class it as a quadricycle, which means no crash testing at all! Still, it will give the Greenpeckers something to look smug about as they drive around in self-satisfied masochism, and a way for the rest of us to spot them coming and avoid them! The Greenpeckers will really be screwed if some scientist comes out and makes a viable fuel alternative out of cannabis, but only if they use the whole world's crop - now that would really cause the hippies some conflicting thoughts!
Y'know, the past three decades' advancements in propulsion and other technologies in next-gen/experimental energy-efficient cars are really impressive and all, but I think the best advancement in the current generation of cars of this type is that _they_aren't_friggin'_BUTT-UGLY_anymore. I think the Axon, along with the Smart, might well be the next generation of "chick magnets" just because the styling is actually halfway cool, kinda' like the old early '50s Nash Metropolitan, which I've always thought looked pretty snappy. I've always thought that the US "Big 3" corporations deliberately sabotaged the electric/hybrid/high-mileage next-gen car market in the early '70s by purposely designing cars so goddamn' ugly that no sane person would be caught dead in them.
I've no big issue with the top speed, either; the speedometer in my wife's Solara goes up to 140mph, and the thing will probably _do_ 140 as well, but I don't think we've ever driven it over 70-75mph, even on the Interstate. 'Vettes, Jags, and Maseratis are real cool and all, but who the hell really needs to go 140 goddamn' mph somewhere?
@Matt Bryant: That's "MISTER Greenpecker" to _you_, pal. You obviously don't mind paying four goddamn' dollars a gallon or more to fill the tank in a goddamn' Hummer. Oh, and do your homework about industrial hemp -- _hemp_ is not the same as _marijuana_; they're two entirely different varieties of the same plant. The industrial variety is bred to be more fibrous; the recreational variety is bred for buds and broad leaves.
And now, you'll "excuse me while I light my spliff, Jah knows I need a little lift..."
...I strongly suspect that the Axon, like the Smart, is something designed strictly as a "city car" -- i.e. something to get to the office/supermarket/drop kids at school in, not something to pile the family and luggage into for a long highway trip to the beach. It's not something I'd want to take out on the Interstate... though I do remember, as a young teenager living in Germany in the late '60s, seeing a fair number of BMW Isettas wailing down the Autobahns and thinking that their drivers were out of their friggin' heads.
Also, about the "carbon" frame/chassis... I didn't see it anywhere, and I could be wrong, but I'm wondering if the frame isn't actually made of something more like the Space Shuttle RCC ("Reinforced Carbon/Carbon") wing-leading-edges we've heard so much about lately which, iirc, is actually pretty strong stuff.
Not so different that William Randolph Hearst and the duPont boys didn't manage to get the industrial crop outlawed in 1937 on grounds of being the source of the cannabis scourge when there weren't no such thing yet... Do try growing your next month's supply of gas-tank filler raw material in your back lot, and check whether the ensuing DEA guys aren't reporting to somebody from the petrochemical industry.
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