By Herb Shuldiner
WardsAuto.com, Sep 6, 2007 3:42 PM
NEW YORK – Malcolm Bricklin, the perennial automotive innovator and founder of car companies, says he will compete for the multimillion-dollar X-Prize with a new sleek model he plans to offer in the U.S. before the end of 2010.
Previously, 31 other companies were invited to compete for the X Prize cup, which will be awarded to winners in two categories whose entries must achieve at least 100 mpg (2.4 L/100 km).
The Santa Monica, CA-based X Prize Foundation, which made headlines in 2004 when it awarded a $10 million prize to a company that flew the world’s first private aircraft into space, has said it would release final rules for the competition by year’s end.
Bricklin says his car will be a plug-in hybrid-electric, fullsize luxury sedan with a targeted price of $35,000. The car will measure 205.0 ins. (520.7 cm) long, 57.0 ins. (144.8 cm) high and 78.0 ins. (198.1 cm) wide. Wheelbase will be 124.0 ins. (315.0 cm) and planned curb weight is 3,900 lbs. (1,769 kg).
The 5-passenger vehicle will accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.9 seconds and have a range of 850 miles (1,368 km), Bricklin promises.
Advanced lithium-ion batteries are the key to his planned car, which Bricklin says will provide a superior driving experience in addition to its lower fuel consumption and emissions.
The batteries will use an advanced cathode technology incorporating nanotechnology. This will provide shorter recharge time, longer cycle life and tolerate extreme temperatures, he says.
The batteries will be capable of recharging by plugging into a conventional 110- or 220-volt outlet.
Best of all, if the driver makes trips shorter than 40-50 miles (64-80 km), the expected range of the batteries between charges, the vehicle could operate indefinitely without using any gasoline.
The plug-in hybrid vehicle will be built by a Chinese manufacturer to be identified at a later date. The company Bricklin chairs, Visionary Vehicles LLC, will begin selling the sedan before the competition runoff, Bricklin promises.