Next: the human-powered car

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

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In a cartoon car dealership, the Imagine LMV would sit somewhere between the Flintstone-mobile and the Jetsons’ flying space-age sedan. It’s a human-electric hybrid, powered by a rowing-machinelike mechanism and two electric motors. Engineered and manufactured by Seattle-based HumanCar, Imagine will launch on Earth Day 2008 (April 22) and retail for a cool $15,000. It will be sold initially through the company and at a car dealership in Menlo Park, Calif. That might sound steep for something that looks like a golf cart, but the car’s inventor, southern Oregon-based professional engineer Charles S. Greenwood, says a unique method of body steering makes it handle like a Lamborghini. “It’s the muscle car for this century,” he says. Prototypes have clocked in at speeds in excess of 65 mph, but don’t go challenging that Prius down the block to a drag race just yet: As of right now, Imagine is only street-legal up to 35 mph.  JAMIE HARTFORD


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