Lotus: Light-Weighting Could Get Industry to 100 MPG Car STERLING HEIGHTS, MI A small car that averages 100 mpg (2.35 L/100 km), yet is powered by a conventional gasoline engine and can be sold at a profit for less than $10,000? The 2025 mileage bogey, proposed by the Obama Admin., has come under attack by political opponents and caught the ire of U.S. automobile dealers, who claim the standard would hike vehicle prices as much as $10,000 and put up to 200,000 jobs at risk. It then went to work on the body and, after analyzing materials for crash performance, ended up with a structure that is 75% aluminum, 12% magnesium (front-end), 8% steel (B-pillars) and 5% composite (floor). Resulting torsional stiffness proved better than that of the BMW X5, considered a world-class benchmark by Lotus engineers. In all, the number of parts was cut from 400 in the Venza to 170 in the Lotus design, and total weight was reduced 38%. That probably translates into a 24%-30% fuel-economy gain, the firm says, without optimizing the powertrain. A performance version of the car adds 50 hp and can achieve a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h) and reach 60 mph from a standstill in about 5.5 seconds. Its fuel economy is pegged closer to 80 mpg (2.9 L/100 km) and selling price put at less than $15,000. We very much are believers that environmentally friendly cars dont have to be boring, stodgy, Lall says. The firm says it could achieve an average 80 mpg using the same design techniques for a more conventional 4-passenger car that also would sell for less than $15,000. ----------------------------------------- No wonder Republicans hate this. All that money saved from OPEC. Their corporate masters won't be pleased. Until the profits roll in. Then they will say they were for it all along. And they say Obama can't lead. Health Care Jobs plan Bin Laden Libya Seems he may be leading better than they are obstructing.