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Natural Gas Roadster to Debut at Geneva Auto Show

Naturalgasroadster
The PGO Cévennes Turbo-CNG roadster.

BRA GmbH and its partners, PGO Automobiles and gasmobil, will introduce a roadster with a methane (biogas/natural gas)-fuelled turbo engine at the upcoming International Auto Salon in Geneva from 6-16 March.

The PGO Cévennes Turbo-CNG roadster sports a 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission. Compression ratio in the engine is 11.0:1, and the engine offers maximum output of 110 kW (150 hp) at 5,600 rpm, with maximum torque of 210 Nm (155 lb-ft) at 2,300 rpm.

Combined cycle fuel consumption is 4.6 kg/100 km (approximately 6.7 liters gasoline equivalent/100 km), and CO2 emissions are approximately 118 g/km. If only biogas is used, the car can be run CO2-neutral.

The Turbo-CNG has a top speed of 210 kph (130 mph), and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds. The natural gas storage tanks hold 22 kg (132 liters) and the car has a range of 450 kilometers (280 miles).

Germany currently has approximately 770 natural gas filling stations. Italy—the European leader in natural gas vehicles with more than 430,000 vehicles on the road—has more than 600 filling stations with natural gas or biogas, Switzerland has almost 100 and Austria 90.

Schweinfurt, Germany-based BRA GmbH is accepting advance orders for the PGO Cévennes Turbo-CNG for Germany. Depending on the response, BRA and PGO will decide on when the eco-friendly roadster will be produced in series. The declared objective of the project partners is to offer the sports car for a price of around €48,000 (US$70,000).

Comments

marc

42mpg, 6.5sec 0-60, 280 mile range
all good numbers - no reason that this wouldn't succeed in the us. everyone talks down natural gas but we all get it to our homes anyway...why not take the honda PHIL and use a distributed model for fuel?

John Baldwin

Great idea.....as you say, the fact that everyone has a natural gas supply makes this easy....biogas made from waste is now being cleaned up and injected into the gas grid in significant and rising volumes across Europe - running these vehicles on it is a pretty cool way to be carbon neutral....very simple, very clever, truly sustainable...you can't beat this with electricity or fuel cell....

sulleny

Nice. Very nice.

Rafael Seidl

The exterior styling is reminiscent of the Porsche 356, the predecessor of the 911.

PGO Cevennes' web site does not mention bivalent operation, so quite possibly this is a monovalent (CNG only) vehicle. If so, that 11:1 compression ratio does not fully exploit this high-octane fuel. 14:1 would be more like it, but re-engineering the mechanicals to support the higher stresses involved was probably well beyond the technical and financial means of this JV.

It's also unclear if this is a port or direct fuel injection engine, my guess is PFI. It only delivers 100hp per liter, about 20% less than modern GDI turbo engines. This is because the gaseous fuel displaces fresh air in the intake manifold, so the turbo really just gets the system back up to the power density of a good naturally aspirated engine. We're still waiting for direct NG injection systems that would put the fuel on a level footing with gasoline wrt engine power.

sjc

I would like to see dual fueled in something like this. You could have variable turbo boost according to the type of fuel used. Many people in the U.S. would buy dual fuel capable cars and once they find out that they can fuel in their garages for less money would love them.

Arnold

I should declare my conflict of interest as I'm biased towards the Kharman Ghia Porshe.
All this retro design with Bonnie and Clyde mobiles etc, and the 'gamer mobile' Hummers, Suvs.
I'm sure design teams are having a lend of us!
Should be a winner on looks alone.
Some high compressions via variable timing would be nice but maybe his one is suitable for LPG.
I wonder how reliable the range of (various) NG fuel supply specs?

K

Seems nice. The resemblence to some older Porsche models is startling.

I wonder if it can compete with an EV like the Tesla. Tesla has started production deliveries (if delivering to your company Chairman counts).

Two open cars of about the same size. Both are green, or lovely to Greens. Both are fast although the Tesla probably has better acceleration. The Tesla costs more. Ease of refueling v. charging depends on where you are.

At $70K the car looks nice, all other things equal. A Boxster would cost that much. More? I haven't checked prices in years.

Tschopp

The car is monovalent with a total autonomy of more than 450kms. The compression ratio is set to 11:1 because the engine is supercharged with a sufficient high boost pressure.

More information about this car on our website www.erdgasfahren.ch. We will present the vehicle on the Geneva Motorshow 06.-16.03.2008.

R.Tschopp, gasmobil ag

John Reed

Mazda has a show car coming to SEMA this year that is dual fuel capable with variable boost. Looking forward to seeing the performance numbers once they get it on track. Too bad CARB won't blanket certify "add-on" Natural gas systems that don't pop OBD codes. CARB insists on any "kits" being certified on individual engine type basis, at a cost of nearly $600k per engine type/year. Not economically feasible for any aftermarket producer.

Jeremy

These comments for the most part are excellent. One thing I do not understand though is why no one is making a point to recognition that this is old technology. This vehicle does not make use of hybridization, does not have regenerative systems, does not manufacture fuel on board,and doesn't re manufacture carbon waste into hydrogen. My question to these people is why is old tech so important. Dual fuel or tri-fuel systems are about $350 dollars US to retrofit a seventies Chevy 350 V8. These numbers are not much different than that conversion. EV direct port Natural Gas hybrids are the future of Honda. This vehicle does not press the engineering envelop and is business as usual.

It is my firm opinion that the tech we need now is locked away in a cabinet, on paper, archived in some server at the manufacturer, (has been for about fifty or more years) and the consumer will never see it until all the profit from gassers can be made. American automobile manufacturers don't need a bail out they need an attitude adjustment.

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