What started in the summer of 2008 as an ambitious project to create a do-it-yourself, 100 miles-per-gallon sports car within a budget of $10,000 has come full circle. MAX (Mother’s Automotive eXperiment) now has more than 100,000 miles in its logbook and consistently achieves 100 mpg at speeds from 45 to 55 mph.
The project proves triple-digit fuel efficiency is feasible — even on a tight budget, and especially if you build your own car. If I can make a 100-mpg car in my Oregon garage, what could the major automakers be giving us?
That said, it’s important to understand upfront that MAX is not comparable to a modern sedan, with all of the creature comforts most drivers expect. But it doesn’t need to be.
MAX is marvelously practical as a second car, or as a primary car for those who rarely need more space than a two-seater provides. You can use MAX to get groceries or go to work. It won’t replace the minivan when you need to get your kid’s soccer team to practice, but you likely don’t need a minivan for most of your drives.
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