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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Students in England Show Off CLEVER Car



By SUEVON LEE, Associated Press Writer Wed Apr 26, 7:27 PM ET

BATH, England - It has two seats, three wheels and so far has cost $2.9 million. Students at the University of Bath in western England, who on Monday unveiled the prototype of the CLEVER (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport), hope that it represents a greener future for transport.

The prototype, a skeletal speedster which had safety netting in place of body panels, exhibited the general design and technology of the vehicle rather than its actual, finished appearance.

It has the compactness of a motorcycle but the safety of a car, and cornering is smoothed by a tilting technology developed by mechanical engineering students Matt Barker, 29, Ben Drew, 27 and their instructors.

Equipped to handle both city streets and long-distance highway driving, the vehicle runs on compressed natural gas, is capable of 80 mph speeds.

"The goal was to produce a lower-emission vehicle and to combine the efficiency of a motorcycle with the comfort and safety of a car," said Drew, who demonstrated the ease of steering with several laps around the lot.


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