Prototype manufacturing began in January 2009 with early models planned for completion for the Denver Auto Show (1-5 April 2009) and manufacturing expected to begin in Loveland, Colorado in 2010.
The model will be powered by a 90 HP Diesel/BioDiesel engine currently rated at 90 MPG in Europe, mated in parallel to a 150 HP Hydraulic motor/pump and accumulator system.
The parallel system will provide 0-60 MPH in less than 6 seconds, and an estimated top speed of 110 MPH.
The structure is a chrome molybdenum tubular chassis, which could by replaced in the future by a full carbon fiber monocoque.
According to the company’s plans, the first cars will be available in 2010 and will sell for $39,000-$59,000.
Lightning Hybrids has developed a unique and ultra-fast design-to-prototype process. By leveraging CAD and CAM systems throughout the entire design process, a large 5-axis Router, and a proprietary approach to molding and layup, LHI can go from designing to having production body parts in less than a week. This allows for ultra fast design iteration, and the ability to develop a variety of options and configurations, with a relatively small investment.
Future technological innovations include many patent-pending solutions with which Lightning Hybrids is participating in the international Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE.
The most significant is Sam Johnson’s design of an integrated hydraulic axial piston engine, which features:
- 100 HP and 100 Lbs
- biodiesel or diesel
- true cylinder deactivation for high part load efficiency
- no transmission
- no valves, flywheel or crankshaft weights
- 150 MPG
(Source: Lightning Hybrids via Autoblog.com)