Design Concept of the Day: British Leyland ECV3

January 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Saw this for real today on my visit to Jaguar Land Rover (see below): lined up in the Heritage Motor Centre, British Leyland’s ECV3 prototype (Energy Conservation Vehicle, 1981). Ultra-light (664kg), roomy and super-aerodynamic by the standards of the day, it experimented with ideas for a future small family car. With its aluminium frame and plastic body panels, and powered by a three-cylinder, 1113cc fuel-injected single-cam engine (said to have influenced the production K-series), it did 115mph and returned a fairly phenomenal 100mpg or so. More on its story – inextricably linked to the demise of British Leyland – at the excellent AROnline resource.

In other news today:

  • Speculation is building about a BMW  i5 – all-electric family car, possibly an MPV-ish hatch.
  • Just reading more about the cylinder shutdown tech in the Audi A1 Sportback 1.4 TSI (detailed story at Autocar). Expect this to be rolled out across the VW Group in the TSI engines in due course (thanks, @paul_barker).
  • Toyota’s just delivered its 400,000th hybrid in Europe. That’s three generations-worth of  Priuses, plus the Burnaston-built Auris Hybrid.
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