For the automotive X prize, Diamandis says the foundation is looking for cars that can qualify in two categories: a traditional four-seat, four-wheel category, and a nontraditional category of at least two seats and at least three wheels. Other guidelines for the competition are being worked out, he said, although both cars will be required to exceed 100 miles per gallon, Diamandis said. "They may be powered by electricity, natural gas, by methane, by hydrogen. We don't know."
Well, sure, I'd love to try. If I had money and time. Maybe start with a 5 spd Metro and do extensive mods:
1. Replace the hatch with a carbon fiber boat tail, so it'd be both lighter and more aerodynamic.
2. Carbon fiber hood, fenders, and any other easy body panel, to get the weight down.
3. Naturally, would want wheel skirts.
4. Replace back and side windows with Lexan.
5. Get some super light alloy rims, custom made if necessary.
6. Treat the engine with a cryo process, ceramic coating, and impregnation with slippery substances.
7. Put in taller gearing.
8. supplement or replace the alternator with solar panels.
9. And while we're on the subject of electricity, replace any mechanically driven pumps with electric ones. If the solar panel can handle it, all the more reason to do it.
10. How about some headers so it'll breathe better?
11. And, as far as breathing goes, maybe a turbocharger too?
12. And of course the easy stuff like the 0w20 oil, LRR tires inflated to high pressures.
All that is stuff that costs a moderate amount of money but does work. I'd be looking for all that sort of stuff that works but which the automakers don't do because it costs them too much to manufacture.
Google said Tuesday it is getting in on the development of electric vehicles, awarding $1 million in grants and inviting applicants to bid for another $10 million in funding to develop plug-in hybrid electric vehicles capable of getting 70 to 100 miles per gallon.
With some of the old tech high mileage vehicles here getting 70+ mpg, getting an extra 30 ought to be worth an extra million dollars or so. Who wants to help assemble a race team in Washington state? Imagne what we'll learn if we just give it an honest try. Who is interested?
Pizza, beer, ideas, and an Insight. Hmmm