Top Gear's website set itself a challenge: build a car that can get 70 mpg, and build it for $7,000.
Using a 1981 VW Rabbit (Known in Britain as the Golf) as its template, the team's also got to get the resulting eco-motor from 0-60 in under 7 seconds. The show's not called "First Gear," after all. The teaser vid:
Here's Devin Johnson from the Beeb:
The 28-year-old Volkswagen was bought in New York City and driven thousands of miles to a very cold Regina, Saskatchewan where CWS Tuning will skillfully replace the clattery old engine with a modern,
computer-controlled, turbocharged VW TDI engine. The team will then head to Southern California where they will meet with UCLA aerodynamics professor John McNulty for expertise in making the car more slippery. ... This is not a simple challenge - hitting 70-mpg will take more than a diesel engine and some aerodynamic tricks. The team will need to get clever with gearing, learn about low rolling-resistance tires, and use special low-friction oils. To car buffs, this makes sense, but to everyone else, the translation is, it's going to take every trick in the book to make this happen.
Topgear.com plans to chart its progress with videos and blogging, as well it should. What role can you take? You can name it. For inspiration, watch a Rabbit racing a Tamalera. Given the right set of balls, this zillion-selling little subcompact can move.
Where's our Nobel? [Top Gear]
Photo: Richard Miles