MILA Concept - Natural Gas Powered Single Seater
Awesome! The Magna Innovation Lightweight Auto (MILA) concept car is a lightweight, aerodynamic single seater. Its 1.6 liters 4-cylinders engine has been modified so that it runs solely on compressed natural gas (CNG) and produce 150 hp (110 KW, a lot for a car of that weight, which means that it could easily be made more fuel efficient by downsizing the engine). That configuration gives the vehicle a top speed of 200 kph (125 mph) and an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph of 6.9 seconds. The modified engine is more at efficient burning natural gas than it was at burning gasoline (32% vs. 25%), and the car falls under the Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV) category under Californian law.Another interesting aspect:
Given Magna Steyr's automotive production expertise, the car has been designed using modular design principles that enable different models to be built (single or two-seater, normal or high-power engine, etc.) without much extra effort, as the components and modules have been developed in advance and optimized in terms of cost and weight.
The complete vehicle weights around 800 kg (1760 lbs), and has a range of around 200km (125 miles) on one natural gas tank.
The fuel tank is a composite CNG safety pressure cylinder (aluminum liner wrapped with carbon fiber) and located safely behind the driver's seat should there be a crash.
Unfortunately, Magna Steyr doesn't have plans to market the vehicle on their own, but they are looking for a partner to create something marketable out of the MILA concept. "Magna Steyr estimates the time required for production development to be about 23 months."
It is also interesting to see the market studies done on vehicles like the MILA concept:
Individualists, techies and lifestylers with a penchant for innovative, original, pioneering vehicles Drivers who are looking for a vehicle using eco-friendly alternative fuels that they can drive in built-up areas, even when environmental regulations close city centres to private traffic (e.g. ban on driving because of particulate emissions) Fresh-air aficionados who don't really want to miss the feeling of riding a motorcycle, but still prefer to drive on four wheels (perhaps only because they don't have a motorcycle licence) with a roof over their heads if need be Potential buyers who already have one or two conventional vehicles in the family and are therefore interested in something "completely different" as a second or third car — a vehicle with a hint of Formula One fascination, a funky fun car with a sporty look, power and performance but at an affordable price.
Thanks to Christian Lainesse for the tip!