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Old 09-21-2008, 08:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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compare apples to watermellons

Originally Posted by SuperTrooper View Post
This image dates back to July, 2007.
Preview: VW’s 235MPG project - MotorAuthority - Car news, reviews, spy shots

This is the ultimate niche car that does only one thing really well: get great fuel mileage on flat ground at (barely) highway speeds. A fun exercise for the guys down at the prototype shop that got out of control.
First, 300cc isn't that small for a motorcycle (it is small for one in the states). The darling of beginners, the ninja 250cc, has considerable acceleration to highway speeds, and can go 100mph (note this is using a 20 year old engine, not the new EFI outside the US). The VW1l should have sightly slower acceleration (slow for a bike, fast for a high mileage car) and a much higher top speed. Look at that thing again, and tell me that Cd x frontal area is more than 1/10th a 3.0l (3000cc) car. That thing is *small*, and should have no trouble going to the VW limit of 150(?)mph.

As far as I know, magnesium is pretty cheap (similar to steel, lots cheaper than aluminum). The catch is that once you include enough to match the strength of steel, you've used the weight of steel and spent more...

I won't argue that this is a gimmick car (or an overpriced motorcycle). As mentioned, the ninja gets ~70mpg for 3.5k (new) (talk about diminishing returns). As far as safety, wear a helmet, and don't pretend it isn't a fancy motorcycle.
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