With equal current seventh generation Golf, and say the same of the first generation Golf: grandpa weighs almost half of his grandson. After grandson got a lot of electronics, additional equipment, and other benefits of civilization, are not available in the 1970s. At the same time they have a similar displacement engines – that’s just the machine is equipped with a modern turbocharged Course, advanced fuel injection, variable valve timing and other “bells and whistles” that, in contrast to the carburettor “relative”, a significant impact on the economy.
Yet many of consumption figures in 4-5 liters of a golf class hatchbacks seemed insufficiently modest. And if we had already dealt with the unusual advice in the automotive dietetics, the heroes of our today’s review, and does seem to be compared with them anorexic. But in this case, a radical weight reduction is only in favor. We say at once: we are in our story will focus on machines that have been specially designed as light as possible, but the power sources they can be the most that neither is diverse.
2005 – Aptera 2e
One of the pioneers in the creation of ultra steel cars of its own design, as strange as it sounds, the engineers from the United States. Aptera Motors Company emerged on the expanses of America in 2005, where it presented at the Detroit Motor Show a prototype series of ultra-low car.
Three-wheeled machine, more like a fuselage of an airplane without wings, had a well-thought out aerodynamics. Its drag coefficient Cx resistance was equal to 0.11 – the truth, in the pre-production version of it has increased: in the concept of the role of mirrors played chamber, and for homologation had to put less aerodynamic “mugs”. But, unlike other “raw” designs, Aptera was ready for mass production, and even met all standards for safety.
Assembled machine is quite an aircraft: light and strong aluminum monocoque, which are fixed composite body panels. After the mass trials to the public just two modifications introduced in 2007: 2h, equipped with a hybrid power plant, and 2e – fully electric. At the same time on both cars receiving orders was launched. However, despite the statements by the launch of the car almost to the day after the show, the production is constantly postponed …
By providing several prototypes in operational testing, engineers hastily adjusted the machine according to the above remarks. In independent tests showed an electric version of the energy consumption equivalent to 1.4 liters of petrol per hundred kilometers. And according to factory data, the average fuel consumption for the hybrid was even lower: only 0.8 liters under the coordinated work of the electric motor and a tiny dizelka. This 4.4-meter car remained very light (about 820 kg), allowing the electric car to accelerate to 100 km / h in 10 seconds and run on a single charge up to 190 km.
The unfolding crisis in 2010 put paid to the plans of the brand – it went bankrupt and was liquidated and the remaining assets – divided into two companies. Some went to the Chinese company from avtostroitelnoy Jonway, which plans to start production of electric 2e Zaptera under the brand name for the Chinese market. The second echo – car from the American company Aptera USA, which intends to revive the already hybrid modification of 2g.
In the American version instead of the tiny diesel engine paired with an electric motor will operate turbo, and claimed fuel consumption is not more than two liters. Each of the cars going by hand, and the estimated price of less than $ 30 000. A little later, started selling its own electric vehicle (as well as Chinese Zaptera, he received 2nd name). As a result, the company was able to gather a portfolio of orders at once to 4000 (!) Their tricycles. The main customers of steel, of course, obsessed Californians ecology. And in the American plans – the development of ultra-trucks and motorcycles.
2006 – Loremo LS
At about the same time came and the peak activity of the German company Loremo, which showed his car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. LS has a mid-configuration and can carry up to four passengers. Both doors folded up for easy access to the salon. The front is raised on its hinges with a windscreen, dashboard and steering part, and through the rear passengers can sit only on the second row – with seats deployed upstream, so that will have to go, in spite of the approaching vehicles from behind. I must say, with the size of the machine 3840 x 1360 x 1100 mm is very exciting attraction.
Under the hood – a tiny two-cylinder turbo diesel engine capacity of 20 liters. s., which accelerates the 450-pound little car to “hundreds” of 20 seconds long and it consumes 1.5 liters of diesel per 100 km without the aid of any hybrid technologies. 20-liter fuel tank machine lacks 1 300 kilometers! But what has been achieved so little weight?
In the development of the car’s designers decided to get rid of the “extra” benefits of civilization, leaving only airbags, satellite navigation and air conditioning. At the heart of the design – the monocoque of high strength steel and aluminum alloys, and external body panels are molded from composite materials. We do not spend one month of development, prototypes blowing in the wind tunnel in Stuttgart Polytechnic University. The result is obvious: the drag coefficient (Cx) is 0.2, and the maximum Loremo speed reaches 160 km / h.
According to plans, the starting price for LS in Germany has promised to stop at around 10 990 euros, but the series, it never came. Cross on unique car already known to put the crisis of 2008.
Of course, later in the company of trying to create a new version of its machine. For example, almost immediately it was announced “charged” version of the GT with a promising index, under the hood which had planned to establish a three-cylinder turbodiesel has a capacity of as much as 50 liters. from. Given that the mass of the “supercar” grew by only 20 kg, dynamic performance GT were noticeably better acceleration to the rating “hundreds” halved – up to 9 seconds and top speed was recorded at around 220 km / h. However, increased and fuel consumption: 100 km of track is no longer needed and a half, and 2.7 liters of diesel fuel.
This car is planned to sell in the market at the price of 14,990 euros, but the audience took a prototype of cool, and to a series of Loremo never reached.
2013 – InEco
Own economical electric car built and specialists of the Dresden Technical University. They set out to develop a car that accommodate four people and will combine the sporty handling and environmental friendliness. German scientists, however, immediately said that their InEco not designed to move over long distances.
In the development of the car was attended by prominent German giants – for example, ThyssenKrupp AG and Leichtbau-Zentrun Sachsen GmbH.
Thanks to an ingenious form of a body having a small drag coefficient, the power consumption in InEco equivalent to the consumption of 2.5 liters of gasoline. And it is – performance machine length of 4.2 meters, that is, which is a mere 37 mm shorter than the new Audi A3!
However, the power reserve of the lithium-ion battery capacity of 15 kWh still is only 120 km. Batteries fed asynchronous motor capacity of 120 liters. p., which drives the rear wheels. This electric vehicle mass not exceeding 900 kg, and the weight distribution is divided in the ratio 46:54 to the front and rear axles respectively.
Lightweight – the merit of carbon-fiber monocoque reinforced with steel pipes, which are mounted exterior panels made of composite materials. Thanks to the good performance to power ratio of the mass, INECO pleases excellent dynamics: up to 100 km / h and it accelerates in just 7.5 seconds, but the maximum speed for safety while had limited at around 160 km / h.
The premiere took place at the international electric vehicle motor show in Frankfurt, where the creators assured its readiness to embark on a conveyor hatchback – but in fact to mass production has not reached. InEco remained a test “mule”, which worked out promising technologies, later included in the basis for many modern German electric vehicles.
2016 – Riversimple Rasa
The founder of the British company Riversimple Hugo Spouers known as a restorer of classic cars. But the old dream to build the most simple and at the same time energy-efficient car marked the beginning of the company, which was engaged in the development of hydrogen-electric fuel cell.
In the name of the company, as the creators explain, there is a hint of the river and the water – symbols of mobility and strength giving energy vehicles, and the word simple (simple) reflects the philosophy of the brand – the development of machines with the least possible number of parts.
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Stagnation – a stagnation of all fairly obvious. Lifetime of the car is reduced, and this is not a conspiracy theory. It is quite normal even 10-15 years ago mileage than usual, not ultrabudgetary car 500 …
“The first sign” was the company’s double Riversimple Urban Car (RUC), built in 2009. Sami designers have positioned it as the world’s only affordable car fuel cell, in which a chemical reaction produces an electric current between hydrogen and oxygen. Electricity supplies four-wheel motor, which lead the car in motion. Like many other electric vehicles, the RUC is equipped with a recuperation system that returns a part of the useful energy storage during braking. Usually their role is played by the batteries, but the British have used more advanced supercapacitors.
Vehicle Dynamics can not be called impressive, because the maximum speed of 350-pound electric – only 80 km / h and a cruising range – modest for fuel cells of 386 km. RUC first built by government subsidies and investments of investors, after which it was planned to start mass production of 10 thousand urban electric vehicles at the plant at Silverstone and take them to the lease, but financial problems have put an end to this venture.
But on his dream Spouers he not declined and in 2016 introduced a new model of the mark, which received the name of Rasa. It is borrowed from the famous Latin expression Tabula Rasa ( «clean slate”) and suggests that the new car was built from scratch.
Especially for machines developed carbon fiber monocoque weighing just 39 kg, which is mounted on aluminum subframes independent suspension and outer body panels are made of composite materials. As a result, a three-meter Rasa curb weight was 580 kg. Electrochemical generator feeds the four-wheel drive motor, each of which develops a power of 14 kW and 160 Nm. The hydrogen fuel cell is kept under pressure in the cylinder 350 atmospheres of composite materials. His margin of 1.5 kg is enough for 483 kilometers.
As with the predecessor, the car applies the recovery system with 120 lithium capacitors. They allow you to store braking energy to 1.9 MJ, and give back to provide extra traction motor if necessary. As a result of acceleration to the producers called “cruising” speed of 88 km / h in urban cars only 9 seconds. The exact maximum speed is unknown, but according to the creators of car, it can be dispersed over 100 km / h. The consumption of hydrogen at each “hundred” – only 0.31 kg, equivalent to 1.13 liters of gasoline at the same distance.
A pilot batch of 20 electric vehicles have entered the accountable operation, which resulted in deficiencies and decided to start serial production will be identified. According to the plans, Rasa has to enter the markets in 2018, and now the company announced the expansion of its own production range – The network has four sketches sedan and a delivery van.
2013 – Volkwagen XL1
Finally we focus on the only thing in our review series of ultra-low car, past a long way to small-scale production. The idea sverhekonomichny car group Volkswagen thinking back in 2002, when by order of Ferdinand Piha was built a tiny little car Volkswagen 1-Litre, in which the driver and passenger sit one behind the other in tandem, and the movement of the machine 290 kg resulted in one-cylinder diesel engine displacement of 300 cm? and a capacity of 8.5 liters. from. It Piëch drove from Wolfsburg to Hamburg to the annual meeting of shareholders of concern, but then the idea shelved. Only a few years later he introduced the concern Volkswagen L1 concept car.
It happened at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2009. Like its predecessor, L1 has two seats, arranged in tandem, and a tiny two-cylinder turbodiesel engine displacement of 0.8 liters supplemented by an electric motor. In tandem with the power plant worked semimstupenchataya robotic DSG transmission with two clutches, through which the torque is transmitted to the rear wheels.
In 2011 Qatar Motor Show was presented a pre-production prototype of the car which has received index XL1. The main difference was a more familiar occupancy passenger seats and the driver’s side by side, and the motor was charging from the network via a cable. Small-scale production began in 2013 at the plant in Osnabrück. Earlier it belonged to the company known for its convertibles Karmann, and next door to gather XL1 Porsche Boxster.
Technology here, too, “superkarovskie”: at the base of the body is carbon fiber monocoque, which weighs only 89 kilograms. Methods of making elements – modern: if usually carbon fiber parts made by Prepreg (Pre-impregnated – pre-soaked) technology, in which the matrices are laid impregnated sheets of resin, and later placed in an autoclave, then aRTM technology (advance Resin-Technology Moulding) involves the creation of forms for large elements prearranged carbon fiber in which the resin is injected under pressure. And the technology does not allow to reduce the cost of construction – each monocoque, manufactured in Austria to the company STS, cost 30 000 euros! A day plant can produce up to four bearing systems – which is exactly twice more detail than if you make them out of “prepregs”.
From Austria carbon fiber body travels to Osnabrück, where he bolted front and rear aluminum subframes are attached to the power unit and suspension. On the external body panels are mounted from the same carbon fiber, and almost all of the traditional glass replaced with lighter polycarbonate. The entire body assembly weighs only 228 kg, and the curb weight of the whole machine is not more than 800 kg – almost like a tiny Smart!
To reduce the weight of the machine using any tricks: Front console is made of cellulose and weighs only 3.4 kilograms, even at 6 kg – each carbon fiber Sparco seats. And all the interior details are in the amount of weight about 78 kg! Coil elements – it is 156 kg, this weight aluminum pull levers, shock absorbers, hubs and brake calipers, GRP stabilizers wheels of magnesium alloy and carbon-ceramic brake discs. Another 105 kg reserved for the electric drive, which has become a major weighting 70-kilogram lithium-ion traction battery with a capacity of 5.5 kWh, feeding the starter-generator with a capacity of 27 liters. from. Built in place of the usual flywheel, it helps two-cylinder 48-strong turbodiesel in volume of 0,8 liters during acceleration. But even his help is not enough – the spurt from zero to rating “hundreds” takes in quite XL1 “nesuperkarovskie” 13 seconds.