MILA Concept - Natural Gas Powered Single Seater

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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:

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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.

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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."

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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!

::MILA Concept car: single seater for the road powered by natural gas via Gizmag

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