Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The Independent reports: [edited]

It does 342mph and costs £1,100,000, but is the Acabion the car of the future?

To many minds, the mere notion of a road-legal vehicle capable of 342mph on a little over half-throttle would seem either absurd or insane, or both. To others, it would seem like fantasy beyond their wildest imagination.

But for that same vehicle to also achieve 85-95mpg at more sensible speeds; and have a small hybrid electric drive system to eke out fuel even further; and produce less carbon dioxide at autobahn speeds than a Toyota Corolla diesel? It seems like folly, fantasy and insanity all rolled into one.

Until, that is, you start talking to Dr Peter Maskus, whose futuristic Acabion GTBO 55 and 70 models can, he asserts, achieve all of the above.

Having previously worked as an engineer and consultant for BMW, Mercedes and Porsche, and been an authority in Toyota's Lean Production system for the Kaisen Institute in Tokyo, the Lucerne-based Maskus has interesting views on the design of the conventional supercar.

"I've driven lots of Ferraris and other super-sports cars," he says, "but they're all totally inefficient. They still originate from the horse-drawn carriage, with four big wheels and a wide, rectangular shape from above. They have the basic aerodynamic quality of an ocean container.

"And they're heavy. Manufacturers speak of a 3,000lb (1,360kg) sports car as a 'lightweight construction' – 3,000lb for the transport of two people with a total weight of 300lb? That's not sports design, it's tank design!"

"It's high time to change the perception of how a fast and, above all, an efficient vehicle for the future will be. We must change our ideals and our perceptions, and we must act. The Acabion represents intelligent mobility, and as a side effect, it offers more power, acceleration and speed than any road-legal vehicle ever before.

At a steady 62mph, an Acabion can travel almost 1,500 miles on one 90-litre tankful, and that's without considering the two 2kW electric motors that can be used for low-speed manoeuvering, reversing or just popping down to the shops without firing up the monster motor.

For more information visit Thanks to John for the link.

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