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X-Prize Winners Unveil the 1,400-Pound Edison2 ‘Very Light Car’

• http://www.wired.com, By Damon Lavrinc
 The team that snagged the gold at the 2010 Automotive X-Prize have unveiled their latest creation, the “Very Light Car” (VLC) 4.0, an ultra-efficient, two-seater that can pack an electric drivetrain, traditional engine or a hybrid configuration.

Based in Lynchburg, VA, Edison2 took home $5 million when it created its 102.5 mpg pod-mobile two years ago, and they’ve reinvested that cash to create the fourth iteration of its VLC architecture.

“This can change the entire industry,” Edison2′s Oliver Kuttner, a former Audi, BMW and Porsche dealer, said at the unveiling of the new VLC at the Henry Ford Museum.

The exterior design is a subtle evolution of the original VLC, keeping the coefficient of drag as low as possible while expanding both interior space, build quality and the overall stance. That additional girth – which is about six inches wider than a Toyota Corolla – is part of Edison2′s commitment to providing not just an ultra-efficient vehicle, but something that’s also entertaining to drive.

The real innovation of the VLC 4.0 is its outboard suspension, a patented spring, strut and disc brake combination that resides completely inside the wheel. The upside is lower weight and a reduction in unsprung mass that will improve handling; the downside is added complexity and wheels and tires that have to be both larger and narrower.

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