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If the XR3 Hybrid Vehicle looks like the car of the future - It certainly is, starting from the way you purchase it. For you will not find this hybrid, two-passenger vehicle in any car showroom. Instead, it has to be ordered on the Internet and will be delivered to your door - in a kit - for you to assemble with the aid of some tools and an instructional DVD.
The XR3 is an unusual car in other ways too. For one, it only has three wheels - Two in the front and one at the back. According to the designer, Robert Riley, the car is extremely fuel efficient, delivering about 225 miles per gallon.
The fuel efficiency can be attributed to the super light design of the car, which weighs less than 1,500 pounds and its unusual adjustable hybrid engine, which can be used together or individually. The driver can select between three driving modes; diesel only, battery-electric only, or both engines running together.
Mr. Riley estimates that for short trips of up to 40 miles, the car can run on the battery alone. For longer trips, the most fuel efficient way is to run the two engines in parallel mode, with the front two wheels powered by the diesel engine, and the third wheel powered by battery.
An added advantage to the car being assembled from a kit is that buyers can customize it to suit their needs. For example they can pick the hybrid engine, or choose to go completely electrical with a bigger battery or with just the diesel engine. They can also modify the diesel engine to use different kinds of bio-fuels.
The final cost of the XR3, which starts at $25,000 USD, varies depending on the customization. Robert believes that people with 'average building skills' will be able to assemble the car pretty easily and, have fun doing it. To learn more about the XR3 or to order it, check out Riley's website at http://www.rqriley.com/xr3.htm