Consumer Reports covered the Automotive X Prize competition
Spira Spira4u
Team Name: Spira
Location: Thailand

Who are they? Spira is a team of three Americans and a German with experience in electronics and construction, who live in Thailand. They already had the car under construction to sell in Asian markets before the Automotive X Prize competition began.

What they say will set them apart: The Spira4u was designed as a safer alternatitve to a motorcycle or scooter for the Asian market. The whole car weighs 500 pounds. It is made of a honeycomb core surrounded with a fiberglass composite structure and covered in soft, polyurethane foam. It seats two in-line, and uses a 250cc Kawasaki motorcycle engine and transmission, driving only the right rear wheel.

Field notes: When asked about the car, team leader Lon Ballard took pride in lifting the front wheel off the ground, waist-high, by himself to show how light it is. A video on the team's website shows the car floating in the water.

Vehicle: Spira4u
Class: Alternative
No. of wheels: Three
Passengers: Two
Drive type: 250-cc, inline two-cylinder gasoline engine, one-wheel-drive on right rear wheel

For more information, see the Spira team pageon the X Prize website.

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