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Old 09-23-2008, 01:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Auburn, NH
Posts: 451

Wicked Wanda - '99 VW Beetle GLS
90 day: 29.59 mpg (US)

Green Monster - '99 Ford Explorer Sport
90 day: 16.73 mpg (US)

Dad's Taxi - '99 Honda Odyssey EX
90 day: 24.23 mpg (US)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
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.
The article says they expect it to "reach" 120km/h, which converts to 72 mph. It comes down to how fast can you spin a diesel? Maybe 3K rpm. The Ninja twin makes its power by turning 11K+ rpm and is pushing a vehicle that weighs half the VW. The single cylinder diesel in the prototype made 8.5 hp and 13.5 lb/ft of torque. For reference the Ninja makes 36 hp and 18 lb/ft torque. Torque provides acceleration and horsepower provides top speed. Both have 6 speed transmissions, so top speed on the VW is sacrificed to provide "adequate" acceleration.

It's gonna be sloooooow.
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