We the Sheeple are being fleeced even more than we were in the 1950's when the fantasy cars were built to attract the perfect woman and built with plenty of horsepower to pump up the ego of "the macho man" .
But there was a market for more fuel efficient cars and the US manufacturers complied by coming up with a line of small cars that got respectable milage like the Hudson Hornet and the Nash Metropolitan. Imports, of course, were more fuel effecient yet with VW leading the pack for sales. They continued using their air cooled motor untill the 1970's with virtually no improvements except for more power and less milage. Dr. Porsche had it figured out many years ago that cooling a motor with a radiater was not efficient, and if the air cooled concept was improved it would undoubtedly be so effecient that the corporate government would step in and cart such obselete means of propulsion off to the scrap yard before someone got the bright idea of using ceremic pistons and barrels for high temperature effeciency. After-all, just the very idea of not needing antifreeze would tip off the oil lobbyists to grease the gears of our representatives in government.
The UFE-II (which stands for "Ultra Fuel Economy") first debuted at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, and it was displayed once again at the 2003 event.
The vehicle benefits from an ultra-lightweight aluminum and resin body, giving it an impressive 129 MPG fuel efficiency rate. Daihatsu has labeled the UFE-II an Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV), and as such it includes "braking for reducing collision impact, full-range speed control for following a proceeding vehicle, speed control for curve negotiation and a lane-deviation warning system."
The UFE2 hybrid has been verified as the world's most efficient four-seater with the lowest ever recorded drag coefficient of 0.19 Cd.
Standing for ‘Ultra Fuel Economy' – the aluminium and composite-bodied minicar weighs only 570 kg and has a pleasingly tapered, teardrop shape with twin gull-wing doors hinged in the centre of the roof.
The spacious four-seat interior is equally futuristic, with a central control unit housing all the major controls including a steer-by-wire system which replaces the conventional steering wheel.
Power is via a low-polluting three-cylinder 660 cc direct-injection petrol engine linked to a compact, lightweight generator and permanent electric motor.
The UFE2's secondary batteries are advanced nickel-metal hydride and the gearbox is an automatic CVT (continually variable transmission).
Strictly monitored tests have recorded an astonishing 170 mpg-plus for the UFE2 – equivalent to travelling 60 km on one litre of fuel.
Source - Daihatsu
Here's a link to an artical on another concept car by Toyota that never surfaced. A real shame considering the shape our poor old planet is in.
Where is Toyota's ES3 100mpg (Eco Spirit Cubic)?