Chalk one up for common sense. When it comes to improving fuel efficiency in the face of rising oil prices, increasing global demand, and (likely) decreasing supply the emphasis has been on technology, particularly in the form of hybrids. With all the major automakers are getting into the hybrid game, too much of the focus is on adapting hybrid technology and other fuel-saving techniques (such as shutting down some cylinders) to existing models rather than delivering the kind of quantum leap we need. Enter the Loremo (“Low Resistance Mobile”).
As a two-seater, with only occasional seats for two more, the Loremo clearly is not something that would meet everyone’s needs – mine included. However, vehicles like the Loremo could point the way toward a more immediate reduction in fuel consumption and corresponding drop in emissions. That this car will enter production in 2009 and cost about the same as a Toyota Prius provides a more conventional, and perhaps more sensible, way to cut fuel consumption – reduce weight, reduce drag, and get back to basics.
If the Loremo can deliver 130-150mpg, maybe a real-world 4WD/AWD vehicle that gets 40+mpg isn’t as far away as we think.