BMW 108 mpg SMART beater

http://www.guardian.co.uk/cars/story/0,,1760756,00.html
Clever car built for the street and narrow
Steven Morris Tuesday April 25, 2006 The Guardian


Only Fools and Horses, the genre has something of a reputation to live down. But yesterday engineers unveiled a machine which may redress the balance - a three-wheeled car which at a metre wide is designed to help the commuter squeeze through the narrowest of gaps and nip into the tiniest of parking spaces.
Funded by the EU, built partly in the UK, and backed by BMW, it is being trumpeted as more environmentally friendly than the average vehicle, because it runs on compressed natural gas; in contrast to Sir Clive's effort and to some other modern microcars, its designers have been at pains to make it look sleek and nippy and ensure it appeals to the fashion-conscious.
The car, called Clever (for compact low emission vehicle for urban transport - and a possible swipe at the Smart car brand) was launched at Bath University, one of the centres behind the three-year project. Its developers hope to see it on the streets of London, Paris and Rome within five years at a purchase price of as little as 5,000.
Until now the car has been tested in secret at an RAF base in Wiltshire but yesterday it was put through its paces in the university's car park. The most striking feature is the way the chassis tilts like a motorcycle as the vehicle goes around a corner. The tilt system, designed by the engineers at Bath, is controlled electronically to make sure the car is balanced at all speeds. The driver does not have to lean as on a motorcycle - he or she simply turns the wheel and the car works out how far it needs to tilt. One of the engineers, Ben Drew, said: "The main problem was finding a way of making sure such a narrow car did not overturn as it went round corners. The tilt system does that. It also makes it really fun to drive."
The designers say it combines the convenience and fun of a motorbike with the safety and dryness of a car. Unlike many other attempts to create a small vehicle for the commuter, the body is enclosed in an aluminium frame and plastic coating.
BMW is thinking of producing the Clever car if, as is expected, the EU insists that carmakers produce a quota of green cars to counter the effect of the gas guzzlers. The vehicle emits about a third as much carbon dioxide as conventional family cars, with fuel consumption equivalent to 108mpg. It has a top speed of 60mph and takes seven seconds to get from 0-40mph. It can carry one passenger in a seat behind the driver.
Geraint Owen, a lecturer in the department of mechanical engineering at Bath, said: "A lot of work has been done on the impact these cars would have if they took off in various European cities. Our towns are getting more and more congested and unpleasant and we believe they would be improved by vehicles like this."
.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Picture: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4930794.stm
greek_philosophizer wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
greek_philosophizer wrote:

The picture shows a three wheeled vehicle but, is it a car? Good grief!
HHC
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Evolution of the existing BMW roofed motorbike?
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
--
"Hernando Correa" < snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net> wrote in message
news: snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

While the Clever vehicle is interesting there is what I feel a much more practical approach by a company in Oregon. This is also a three-wheeled, but three passenger vehicle with a CNG approach as well. However, I've talked with the people on this project at great length and have come to know the concept designer quite well. He's no slouch when it comes to this sort of thing a design engineer on the moon rover vehicle the US sent to the moon many years ago. Believe it or not he has a "method" patent on the CNG compression unit which comes with each vehicle. One problem has been the length of time it takes to refuel CNG vehicles using a compression appliance at your home. This guy came up with a compressor that takes natural gas from the source at your house and puts 2-1/2 to 3-gallons per hour in the fuel tanks (there's two in each vehicle) running off an ordinary 120-volt outlet. Cost: about 60 to 70 cents per gallon, an in a vehicle that is suppose to get 70 miles per gallon. Harley Davidson in a way paved the road for this vehicle since it is licensed as a motorcycle instead of a car. That way they avoid all the expensive crash testing, etc. Even in California, a state where you need a special license to pilot a motorcycle, the rules change since it is three wheels, not two, and you don't need a helmet since the vehicle comes with a removable hardtop. Interesting indeed. While this indeed sound like a pitch for the vehicle it really does bear looking at. Their site is www.eco-fueler.com.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.