The Edison2 Very Light Car (VLC) positively stomped the competition a few months ago during the Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize challenge, returning an impressive 102.5 miles per gallon on E85 ethanol. Now the aeronautical four-seater is at the North American International Auto show in detroit to show off its wind-cheating body and hyper-efficient engine. Hit the jump to see a video tour by engadget.
The Edison2 VLC was designed to be insanely efficient. It has a steel-tube chassis and a carbon fiber body. Every part of the automobile was is simple and lightweight. Your typical lug nut weighs about an ounce. A VLC lug nut weighs one-tenth of an ounce. Total weight of the VLC? 800 pounds.
But ultimate efficiency isn’t just about (lack of) weight. The VLC has one of the most aerodynamic bodies ever conceived. And indeed, it looks like the offspring of a Leer jet and a bullet, which means it disturbs nary a molecule of air as it sails down the road.
Motivation is provided by a turbocharged one-cylinder engine that runs through a six-speed sequential gearbox. The engine generates 40 horsepower and 29 foot-pounds of torque, which is just enough to get you around. But straight-line performance isn’t what the VLC is about. Efficiency comes first, followed, surprisingly, by handling prowess. Despite its skinny, low-rolling-resistance tires, the VLC pulls 1.18g on the skidpad, matching the Pagani Zonda C12 S.
Check out this walk-around video tour to get a better idea of what the VLC is like in person. Personally, I think it’s great and would love to drive around town in one. All it needs is a HUD and a few heat-seeking missiles.