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More Miles Per Gallon

 
Throughout the design and development of the Natalia SLS 2, we will constantly be looking at innovative technologies. As we survey the inventions that are being developed or are just over the horizon, we have a major advantage that most car companies lack: a virtually unlimited budget. If you are designing a car to be sold at about $30,000, you simply cannot consider a technology that would add $20,000 to the manufacturer's cost. But if you are designing a car to be sold at $2,000,000, a technology that adds $20,000 or even $200,000 to the manufacturer's cost may still be worth your attention. The main criteria are effectiveness and schedule, not cost.

We know that the cost of gasoline is a relatively minor problem for the people who will buy and drive Natalias. It really doesn't matter that much to the Natalia owner whether the price of gasoline is $1 a gallon (don't we wish!) or $4 a gallon or even $20 a gallon. Does this mean that fuel mileage is something we don't worry about at DiMora Motorcar?

No! Actually, the opposite is true. We are intensely concerned about the mileage Natalia will get. This will determine how large our fuel tanks must be and how the fuel weight and distribution will affect performance. For the driver's benefit, a longer range between visits to the gas station is always desirable.

This is one of the reasons that the DiMora Volcano V16 engine will not use all of its cylinders all of the time. The power of the V16 is there whenever needed, but fewer cylinders will be used when cruising, crawling through freeway traffic jams, sitting at a stop light, etc. The aerospace composites, honeycomb structures, and exotic materials we are integrating into the design will also make the Natalia more than a thousand pounds lighter than other luxury automobiles of its size.

Beyond such mechanical methods, are there other ways to stretch the distance between fill-ups? Yes, indeed. We are studying several to see how well they work, and what the trade-offs might be in applying them to the Natalia.

With the cost of gasoline increasing so much in the past year, the news media are reporting on various inventors and the techniques they are using to squeeze more miles from each gallon of gasoline. Several companies and universities are experimenting with modifying the characteristics of the fuel going to the engine to increase its energy output and thereby increase the car's mileage. Much of this experimentation involves adding hydrogen or both hydrogen and oxygen to the fuel because these elements are readily available in the form of H2O--water.

While it would be nice to be able to be able to separate the water into hydrogen and oxygen, then burn them together again to provide energy and water, the laws of physics stop you cold. It takes more energy to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen than you will get back when you burn them. But if you can extract just a small amount of hydrogenor hydrogen and oxygenand add that the fuel to make it produce significantly more energy when burning, then you may have something worthwhile.

The companies doing research in this area extract hydrogen and oxygen from water and add them to the automobile's gasoline. Testing so far indicates that the additional energy produced by the engine when using this supplemented gasoline far exceeds the energy needed to produce hydrogen and oxygen from water. Keep watching for updates on this technology as we do further research.

Whether we decide to use one of the water-based fuel enhancement systems in the Natalia will depend upon such factors as the size and added weight of the device that extracts hydrogen from water, the power it consumes, safety, and the reliability of the system. Notice that cost is not listed as a deterrent. After a technology such as adding hydrogen to fuel is proven in expensive cars, smart engineers can work on the problem of driving down the cost so that it becomes available on any car. This is an important function of the high end of the automotive market. DiMora Motorcar plans to be a driving force in bringing many of these technologies to the average driver.

If you have a specific technology that you believe would benefit the Natalia, we encourage you to send an email to [email protected] Thanks!

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