July 6, 2007 Achieving 0-60mph in under five seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 140mph at 92 miles per gallon plus impressive handling and extremely low emissions, this striking 3-wheeler from FuelVapor Technologies looks to have all the answers. The “alé” (pronounced alay) concept car is described as running on "fuel vapors" rather than liquid fuel meaning it has a greater than 25% better fuel to air ratio than standard gasoline engines and this, coupled with the use of aerodynamic design and lightweight materials is the key to its outstanding performance.
Created by inventor George Parker over a period of 15 years, the alé is immediately distinguishable by the 2 in the front -one in the rear wheel configuration. This design improves fuel efficiency and aerodynamics and enhances cornering with reports that the car can pull 1.7 g’s in corners during track testing on street tires. Add to this the 180hp car’s ability to do 0-60mph in under 5 seconds and pull a 12.9 second quarter mile and its starting to look like a lot of fun.
Both the engine and front suspension are sourced from Honda with the inclusion of the patent pending “fuel vapor technology” delivering an incredible lean air/fuel ratio of 20:1 (20parts air to 1 part gasoline) compared to 14.7:1 for standard engines. This translates to driving the two-seater 15 hours from Vancouver BC to San Francisco CA without filling up the10 gallon gas tank according to the manufacturers – that’s 92mpg US or 39.1 km/liter on the metric scale.
Also notable are the car’s low emissions - a 30% reduction in CO2 despite running on regular gasoline and at this stage, without a catalytic converter.
The first prototype is now complete and this is how Brad Zimmerman, head tech at FuelVapour Technologies described testing at the Mission race track: “I drove it hard for 4 solid hours, throwing it into corners, accelerating and braking hard. The car’s performance is spectacular. After all that hard driving, we only went through $10 in gas.”
The alé will be an entry in the Automotive X-Prize, a competition aimed at fostering the design of viable, clean and super-efficient cars that people still want to own.