Published on February 19th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro6
This Bizarre BMW Got 88 MPG Back In 1981
While Alpina may be better known for its high-performance luxury sedan, in 1981 the company entered this custom BMW into the Shell Kilometer Maraton, which is today referred to as the Eco-Marathon. But hybrids weren’t a thing back in 1981, so instead Alpina went for extreme aerodynamics.
The result was a custom BMW 323i, perhaps one of the least aerodynamic cars ever built…at least from the factory. By the time Alpina was done with it though, this aerodynamic BMW would manage to get over 105 mpg on the Imperial testing scale. Using the U.S. method, that works out to about 88 mpg…in a 1981 BMW using a standard gas engine!
Of course it’s hideous to look at, and we can’t imagine people lining up to buy such a malformed ride like this. But it is a demonstration of what is possible without hybrid technology; apparently aerodynamics can go a long way.