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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Aptera - Aerodynamic Three Wheeler

The American company Accelerated Composites aims to keep the design of its Aptera concept car even closer to an aerodynamic ideal shape. The company claims to be able to achieve a drag coefficient of less than 0.06 using a highly unconventional aerodynamic body shape. Combined with a lightweight composite construction, the Aptera should achieve a fuel consumption as low as 0.7 litres per one hundred kilometres (336 mpg US).

The styling of the Aptera concept car shows more resemblance with airplane than with car design. The car has a wide front with two separate front wheels and a tapered rear section with one, fully enclosed rear wheel. Because of the very low drag, the Aptera is equipped with movable fins on the back to create active aerodynamic stabilization at high speeds.

The Aptera will be equipped with a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system.
The first prototype of the Aptera is under constructed during 2006. Accelerated Composites is planning production in Southern California, which could start as early as 2008.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
DRIVE SYSTEM: Parallel hybrid-electric + combustion engine
POWER OUTPUT
Diesel engine: 9 kW (12 hp)
Electric motor: 18.6 kW (25 hp)
FUEL: Diesel
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 0.7 l / 100 km (335 mpg US)
MAXIMUM SPEED: 155 km/h (95 mph)
ACCELERATION 0-97 KM/H (60 MPH): 11 sec.

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