someone recently pointed me to the Jetcar website. cool machine. aero, tandem, diesel. fiberglass body. german.
2.5 L/100 km average (113 mpg Imp. / 94 mpg US).
while i was looking through the pics on their site, i noticed the wheels were identical to the wheels you can get on the smart car. i headed to the smart site to confirm this and then noticed the 2 cars also share the same drivetrain specs.
posted a comparison, if you're interested:
if it is the same drivetrain, the jetcar is a brilliant example of how weight reduction (150 lbs) and aerodynamics contribute to efficiency. the smart gets 4.2 L/100 km combined. quite a difference.
cameras are good for aero, but they may not work well in glare, or at night (night vision mode??). then there's the cost issue.
your point about the similarity to the vw is good - the more you incorporate aerodynamics into design, the more cars (of a similar size & purpose) will resemble one another. passenger jets all look pretty much the same for that reason: evolved aero design.
the jetcar could also have done better with wheel discs and rear skirts...
and it could have done better still if it had adopted some of the approaches in the vw lupo 3L: namely freewheeling when you release the accelerator (aka gliding - idling in neutral), and the engine auto-stop feature.