Lightweight Sports Car Sets World Record at 103.7 MPG!
Imagine a fast, fun-to-drive sports car setting the world record for fuel economy. Lightweight and aerodynamic, a prototype Avion automobile - built by two engineers in Bellingham, WA - holds the Guinness world record for fuel economy at 103.7 mpg! Perhaps the most amazing part of this story is that the first Avion prototype was completed in 1984 and driven into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1986. Co-designer Craig Henderson set the record, traveling up the West Coast from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, and he's about to repeat the drive in the other direction. Unfortunately, fuel economy was not a big concern in the USA in the mid-eighties, so Henderson and co-designer Bill Green didn't find a ready market for their Avion cars. But oh, how times have changed!
October 11 2008, Henderson, Green and the original (twenty three year old) Avion prototype are about to make another run, from Bellingham (near Canadian border) to Portland. And this time fuel economy is a global concern. In the interim, Henderson and Green have found ways to manufacture their fuel-efficient dream cars in limited or mass production, using standard engine parts and drive-trains that are innovative only when teamed with the lightweight, aerodynamic Avion chassis and body.
"The Avion is fun to drive, and it gets great mileage," says Henderson with understated pride. "Our test car has achieved 80 mpg at 70 mph, and we've reached 114 mpg at 55 mph, driving on public roads from Eugene to Portland, OR. That's pretty amazing and we did it over twenty years ago."
The Avion will attempt to break its own Guinness World Record in early 2009. Twenty-three years after the first Avion prototype made its historic run, will the Avion still be "ahead of its time?" Not likely. This time, the test car is attracting sponsorship interest and is a contender in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize with a 10 million dollar first prize.
"The car is currently averaging over 100 miles per gallon at 60 miles per hour. My goal is to do better than 110 miles per gallon. I am hopeful that we can meet this goal and generate sponsorship for building a new car to compete in the X-Prize. With a hybrid electric we could be over 200 miles per gallon." Craig Henderson said.
Craig Henderson 360-303-4790
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