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Published on February 14th, 2008 | by Clayton

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Germans Release 117 MPG Diesel Sportscar: Biodiesel, Anyone?


loremocar

The German company Loremo (short for low-resistance mobile) released a turbodiesel sportscar at last September´s Frankfurt International Auto Show capable of a whopping 117 mpg and range of no less than 621 miles. They also plan on hybrid and electric models, and even one that runs on vegetable oil.

High-mileage-sportscar may sound like an oxymoron, and it’s a fair question to ask what was sacrificed to get 117 MPG out of this sleek, sporty-looking turbo-diesel, which is available in two models: a 2-cylinder LS and a 3-cylinder GT.

Besides the cool-looking flip-up lid and snazzy interior, Loremo’s real innovation (if the name was any hint) is based on two fuel economy fundamentals: substantially reducing weight and drag.

The Loremo’s construction is based on a steel linear cell structure: with a weight of only 95 kg the patented hull features three straight longitudinal struts and one centre cross strut. The steel struts of this clever construction principle provide the needed rigidity and safety and create a 600 mm deformation zone. Additionally the unique design enables the Loremo to reach an extremely low aerodynamic coefficient of 0.20.

But still: with all its safety and comfort features the Loremo weighs less than 600 kg [1323 lbs], which is less than half the weight of regular compact vehicles. That’s why it is so economic.

loremocarinsideAlthough 117 mpg makes the 76 mpg VW Beetle hack look a bit paltry, it’s based on the same principles. Remember that by using a spoiler to reduce the VW’s drag coefficient from about 0.38 to 0.28, Ernie Rogers increased his mileage between 5 and 8%. But the real key seems to be weight reduction.

Although it all sounds good on paper, there are two big questions to address when talking about small lightweight vehicle.

Safety and Power

Loremo would ask you to ponder how lightweight (1100 lbs) Formula 1 cars can keep a driver safe through crashes of over 155 mph. In Loremo’s manufacturing, longitudinal struts run the length of the car, leaving more “surviving space” in the event of head-on collision than comparable passenger cars. The Loremo also has an integrated roll-cage and 3 air-bags (front and sides) to protect passengers.

But will it have any power? I’d say yes, yes it will. I’ve personally spent a lot of time in 4 cylinder, 2.0 Liter diesels, and they don’t typically light up the tires. But add a turbocharger to the engine, drop 1,500 lbs, and make it aerodynamic, and you may be on to something. The 3-cylinder Loremo GT adds a bit more muscle, but drops fuel economy to about 78.5 mpg.

The 2-cyl L Loremo LS has a top speed of 100 mph (3-cyl GT 125 mph), and with one passenger will do 50 mpg up a 10% grade.

Cost and Availability

The Loremo’s debut at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt late last year means most of us haven’t heard about it, but it should be available in several countries in 2009.

If you were hoping for a U.S. model, don’t hold your breath. I’ll let Loremo explain:

We are quite surprised to see that the Loremo is being well accepted in the US. Due to the complicated and instable regulations we will not offer the Loremo for US markets upon launch in 2009. Should the success and the future market demand from US markets enable us to offer the Loremo we will certainly do so.

If it was available, the 2.0 L Loremo LS should be around $20,000 U.S.

Other Models

While either of the models can run on 100% biodiesel right off the assembly line, Loremo does have plans for plug-in hybrid and electric models, and may even build one designed to run on straight vegetable oil.

You’ve got to love German ingenuity.

Related Posts:

A Biodiesel Prius? VW To Release 69.9 MPG Diesel Hybrid

376.59 MPG Car Found In Museum (It Was Built In 1959)

6 Ways To Find And Use Biodiesel Anywhere (Part I) and (Part II)

Photo Credit: Loremo. See more photos here.




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About the Author

In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.



  • http://gas2.org Clayton B. Cornell

    By the way, you may see a few articles stating the Loremo gets 157 mpg. If anyone can find the source of that (or my conversion error), please let me know and I´ll up my numbers.

  • http://gas2.org Clayton B. Cornell

    By the way, you may see a few articles stating the Loremo gets 157 mpg. If anyone can find the source of that (or my conversion error), please let me know and I´ll up my numbers.

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  • Uncle B

    Great! Now, make it a hybrid and sell it to the American freeway drivers before they ruin the environment for all of us, then send it to China for the same reasons! Europe has already discovered the diesel and a hybrid diesel/electric is a natural evolution for them and the rest of the world as gas prices continue to rise. Now if we could get Opic to oblige by doubling the price of oil, forcing the making a liquified coal product a reality . . .

  • Uncle B

    Great! Now, make it a hybrid and sell it to the American freeway drivers before they ruin the environment for all of us, then send it to China for the same reasons! Europe has already discovered the diesel and a hybrid diesel/electric is a natural evolution for them and the rest of the world as gas prices continue to rise. Now if we could get Opic to oblige by doubling the price of oil, forcing the making a liquified coal product a reality . . .

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  • Brian

    Well… Sportscar must be very loosely defined. A top speed of 100 mph can be reached by the average station wagon, minivan, or SUV – hardly the range of “sportscars.” You might be able to call it a high performance econocar. My car is definitely not a sportscar, and it gets a top speed of 140 mph. A mustang is a true sports car – top speed upwards of 155 mph.

    It looks… interesting … though.

  • Brian

    Well… Sportscar must be very loosely defined. A top speed of 100 mph can be reached by the average station wagon, minivan, or SUV – hardly the range of “sportscars.” You might be able to call it a high performance econocar. My car is definitely not a sportscar, and it gets a top speed of 140 mph. A mustang is a true sports car – top speed upwards of 155 mph.

    It looks… interesting … though.

  • Brian

    Well… Sportscar must be very loosely defined. A top speed of 100 mph can be reached by the average station wagon, minivan, or SUV – hardly the range of “sportscars.” You might be able to call it a high performance econocar. My car is definitely not a sportscar, and it gets a top speed of 140 mph. A mustang is a true sports car – top speed upwards of 155 mph.

    It looks… interesting … though.

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  • http://www.daxdesai.com High Return Investing with Dax

    If they can release this at the 20-25K price point it will be an instant hit. Looks better than a Prius imo

  • http://www.daxdesai.com High Return Investing with Dax

    If they can release this at the 20-25K price point it will be an instant hit. Looks better than a Prius imo

  • Michael

    What a hardly fool for not offering it in the US now, can you say sell like hotcakes. Four bucks a gallon and rising, and the average mpg is what here??? Sad to see another great option not being offer once again.

  • Michael

    What a hardly fool for not offering it in the US now, can you say sell like hotcakes. Four bucks a gallon and rising, and the average mpg is what here??? Sad to see another great option not being offer once again.

  • Michael

    What a hardly fool for not offering it in the US now, can you say sell like hotcakes. Four bucks a gallon and rising, and the average mpg is what here??? Sad to see another great option not being offer once again.

  • Tony

    Well, As an American we are LAZY. That is why when you want something done correctly give it to someone else. Sonner or later we are done…

    Upon this project, Germans has always been great, Look at all the movies, It’s BMW, Audi, and so on. Where are the American cars, Oh’I know In the »»»Junk Yard«««

  • Tony

    Well, As an American we are LAZY. That is why when you want something done correctly give it to someone else. Sonner or later we are done…

    Upon this project, Germans has always been great, Look at all the movies, It’s BMW, Audi, and so on. Where are the American cars, Oh’I know In the »»»Junk Yard«««

  • http://none Kurt Linsenmaier

    I have a 2001 TDI Bug. I get 50 MPG and have been thru this year, but the turbo has an issue. Great car, fun to drive. VW has the ‘Polo’ sold in Europe that get’s 70 MPG off the showroom floor. It’s a turbocharged diesel and it’s what we need in the USA now. Don’t know what their marketing plans are, but I would think now is the time to sell. VW has not sold the TDI Bug in the USA since 2006. There were issues on our part (USA) on PPM of sulfur and VW said ‘You figure it out and get back to us’. Shame on our regulators. I work in an oil refinery and I have enough insite that we may have reached ‘Peak Oil’. We need to run with the best fuel efficent vehicles we can at present, and also look at the future. Pity the guy that’s got a ‘Humm-Vee’ for sale right now.

  • robert

    i’ve been beating epa mpg guidelines for years with 70/30 highway/city mix by:

    1) adding 3 psi to inflation guidelines recommended by manufacturer; it also keeps tires from wearing prematurely on the edges

    2) checking tire pressure once a month

    3) using synthetic lubricants in engine, transmission & differential

    4) using a fuel additive once a month, to keep fuel system clean

    5) doing regular maintenance at least every once a year or 30k miles, whichever comes 1st

    6) nice gentle acceleration from stops

    7) allow plenty of following distance

    • http://Web johnny mars

      Add to that list the art of coasting. When they need to stop, people keep their feet on the gas pedal too long! Then they got to press the brake which wears out their tires and brakes!

      I practice by coasting down to 30 MPH before I have to hit the brake (as long at it’s safe and I’m not breaking the minimum speeding laws or impeding traffic). I have gotten 1-2 mpg more by coasting.

  • robert

    i’ve been beating epa mpg guidelines for years with 70/30 highway/city mix by:

    1) adding 3 psi to inflation guidelines recommended by manufacturer; it also keeps tires from wearing prematurely on the edges

    2) checking tire pressure once a month

    3) using synthetic lubricants in engine, transmission & differential

    4) using a fuel additive once a month, to keep fuel system clean

    5) doing regular maintenance at least every once a year or 30k miles, whichever comes 1st

    6) nice gentle acceleration from stops

    7) allow plenty of following distance

  • Brian

    What ever happened to the 113mpg opel speedster? 140mph at 113mpg ecospeedster? Doesn’t GM own opel? I am pretty sure that the saturn sky is sold as an opel in europe. Why can’t GM release a car like this. I don’t understand. Muscle car guys don’t burn lots of gas because they like to burn gas, they burn lots of gas because they like cars that go fast. Give them this. Its stupid to have these cars on a drawing board somewhere and lot release them.

    And would someone tell the enviromentalists to get out of there own way. One of the reasons we can’t get these cars is that we have made our emmissions standard too high.

  • Brian

    What ever happened to the 113mpg opel speedster? 140mph at 113mpg ecospeedster? Doesn’t GM own opel? I am pretty sure that the saturn sky is sold as an opel in europe. Why can’t GM release a car like this. I don’t understand. Muscle car guys don’t burn lots of gas because they like to burn gas, they burn lots of gas because they like cars that go fast. Give them this. Its stupid to have these cars on a drawing board somewhere and lot release them.

    And would someone tell the enviromentalists to get out of there own way. One of the reasons we can’t get these cars is that we have made our emmissions standard too high.

  • Brian

    What ever happened to the 113mpg opel speedster? 140mph at 113mpg ecospeedster? Doesn’t GM own opel? I am pretty sure that the saturn sky is sold as an opel in europe. Why can’t GM release a car like this. I don’t understand. Muscle car guys don’t burn lots of gas because they like to burn gas, they burn lots of gas because they like cars that go fast. Give them this. Its stupid to have these cars on a drawing board somewhere and lot release them.

    And would someone tell the enviromentalists to get out of there own way. One of the reasons we can’t get these cars is that we have made our emmissions standard too high.

  • joey

    is there any way of importing this car from there to the u.s. ive seen it done pleanty of times.. cost like 4 k.. is it possible?

  • joey

    is there any way of importing this car from there to the u.s. ive seen it done pleanty of times.. cost like 4 k.. is it possible?

  • Fred Roensch

    A biodiesel sports car for 20 grand. That is hard to believe.

    If it was available as a hybrid biodiesel/electric in the U.S. the market would be large and the net carbon impact would be very minimal.

    I hope GM has something similar as soon as possilbe.

  • Fred Roensch

    A biodiesel sports car for 20 grand. That is hard to believe.

    If it was available as a hybrid biodiesel/electric in the U.S. the market would be large and the net carbon impact would be very minimal.

    I hope GM has something similar as soon as possilbe.

  • Fred Roensch

    A biodiesel sports car for 20 grand. That is hard to believe.

    If it was available as a hybrid biodiesel/electric in the U.S. the market would be large and the net carbon impact would be very minimal.

    I hope GM has something similar as soon as possilbe.

  • Roger

    It`s about time !! Great looking car The Germans always seem to be a step ahead of every one in economy

    I hope to see this car in Canada ??? Who will be selling them ?? maybe me ??? LOL

  • Roger

    It`s about time !! Great looking car The Germans always seem to be a step ahead of every one in economy

    I hope to see this car in Canada ??? Who will be selling them ?? maybe me ??? LOL

  • Roger

    It`s about time !! Great looking car The Germans always seem to be a step ahead of every one in economy

    I hope to see this car in Canada ??? Who will be selling them ?? maybe me ??? LOL

  • Colin Frith

    Looks great, and could be an answer to help global warming, but difficult to enter and exit, especially if involved in a front end hit.

    I want one and only hope that the big guns in the motor industry do not buy it out and bury it.

  • Colin Frith

    Looks great, and could be an answer to help global warming, but difficult to enter and exit, especially if involved in a front end hit.

    I want one and only hope that the big guns in the motor industry do not buy it out and bury it.

    • http://Web johnny mars

      Sounds like the movie “Tucker.”

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