Velozzi reveals crossover design

  • 24-Jul-2009 06:51 EDT
VXO 57-84.jpg
Velozzi has released the first image of its Solo plug-in multifuel hybrid electric crossover.

Velozzi has released an image and a few more details of its plug-in hybrid-electric Solo crossover, which the California-based startup OEM and Progressive Automotive X-Prize competitor says will demonstrate its modular and lightweighting capabilities and capitalize on new ways to manufacture vehicles.

"It is inconceivable and counter productive to manufacture efficient vehicles using antiquated types of construction," said Velozzi CEO, Roberto Velozzi. "To make an efficient, environmentally friendly vehicle, one must utilize lightweight materials to improve mpg, reduce pollution, and increase ­safety.”

Velozzi vehicles, which include an earlier announced supercar as well as the Solo crossover, are being designed to allow for easier assembly and reduction of manufacturing cost—bringing savings to the consumer. The company says its vehicles will be the first production cars to be constructed using carbon-fiber nanotubes, which can increase the mechanical properties of components by 40%.

Velozzi says its supercar and Solo crossover will be in the first production cars in the world to use a multifuel micro turbine battery charger to recharge their beds of supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries. Electrical grid charging will also be possible. Micro turbine fuels could include gasoline, diesel, ethanol, methanol, butanol, biodiesel, and natural gas.

The vehicles' electrical systems will also be able to serve as a generator to power equipment and or even a home. Regenerative braking will capture kinetic energy when slowing the vehicles to improve its range.

Performance goals for the Solo include a 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) sprint in about 6 s, a top speed of 130 mph (209 km/h), and 100-mpg fuel economy. To accomplish these lofty goals, Velozzi says it has assembled a world-class team of scientists, designers, and 17 top suppliers including PPG, Ashland, Bayer Material Science, Weismann R&D, and Nanoledge.

Nanoledge, for example, is bringing to the development team expertise in the use of nanochemicals and resin formulation for the Solo's lightweight epoxy/carbon fiber body panels. The Nano In technology integrates carbon nano tubes into epoxy resin to improve resistance to crack growth, fatigue  impact, and compression.

Mass production of the cars is scheduled to start by late 2011 or early 2012.

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