New automobiles are being designed in ways that challenge every pre-existing notion we have about how vehicles should look and perform. Some manufacturers are using alternative fuel sources such as electricity (i.e. the Nissan Leaf which I have featured on my blog a couple of times) and some are simply figuring out a way to burn substantially less fuel without converting energy sources, which is a route that Volkswagen is taking with their "L1 Concept".
You might be thinking to yourself, "I wouldn't drive that ugly piece of crap!" but I urge you to look at the vehicle's practicality instead of its design.
Specifically this: This vehicle uses only ONE LITRE OF FUEL per 100km!! (285mpg!!)
How are they able to achieve this? Every piece of this automobile is designed for aerodynamics. This is why the vehicle's shell resembles a bullet, and why it only weighs 640lbs. The vehicle is much thinner than the average car because the passenger actually sits behind the driver (see picture below)
The rear of the vehicle may appear similar to the Honda Insight, and indeed it is! Since the rear wheels are not used for turning, there is no reason for them to be exposed. By covering them up, a significant amount of wind residence is reduced. Also, the air intake only opens when the vehicle needs to be cooled down.
This concept is a fantastic representation of the belief that you can make an extremely fuel-efficient vehicle without advancing too far into new technology. The big question - will we ever see this on the road? It has not been officially determined, but only time will tell, I suppose.
images from gas2.org