Loveland, Colorado-based Lightning Hybrids has its sights set on the $10 million automotive x-prize with a sleek biodiesel-fueled vehicle that they claim will break the 100MPG barrier for a production sedan. Once completed, their hydraulic hybrid prototype will boast 240 hp, a carbon fiber chassis, and a 0-60 speed of 5.9 seconds.
Lightning Hybrid‘s 4 wheel sedan will feature a 90 HP high-efficiency biodiesel engine in addition to a 150 HP hydraulic motor/pump and accumulator system. Whereas electric hybrids like the Prius store energy from regenerative breaking in a battery, hydraulic hybrids work by storing energy in a pressurized chamber and releasing it upon acceleration.
As told by Lightning Hybrids team leader Dan Johnson to Gas 2.0: “We have developed a unique and patent-pending biodiesel-hydraulic hybrid vehicle which emphasizes thermodynamic and hydraulic system efficiencies, lightweight mechanical and composite structures, and clean sports car styling.”
The vehicle will be officially unveiled at the Denver Auto Show this April, and they are aiming for release in 2010 at a price point of $39,000 – $59,000.