The Zoleco is the product of Zoltan Bod, a Canadian with a long history of automotive restoration and fabrication. The car’s name ‘Zoleco’ is a combination of its creator’s name and ‘eco’ – highlighting the car’s environmentally friendly credentials. The Zoleco is a four-seater powered by a turbocharged 3-cylinder gasoline engine. In testing it’s managed to return 91 mpg. Part of that’s due to the fuel-sipping motor, but primarily it’s because of the extremely aerodynamic bodywork. Bod says 91 mpg is just the start though, and with further refinement – including a a cylinder head configuration which would have fully variable valve lift and duration built-in – they can get more mpg out of the car.
According to Bod, the Zoleco’s tear-drop shaped body creates 50 per cent less drag than a similar-sized normal car, resulting in an 82 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. Bod states that the Zoleco requires just 8.2 horsepower to maintain a speed of 65 mph. Taking a look at it from a Bonneville Salt Flat perspective, indications are that the 80hp available with the baseline engine could feasibly push the Zoleco to just over 145mph with minimal wind noise.
The first step on the long and treacherous road to mass production for the Zoleco is a proof of concept prototype. With that out of the way Bod can start on the second phase, building a more advanced research and development vehicle and using it to fine tune the technologies used in the prototype as well as implementing new ones. Phase three is to start building production Zolecos. Bod will at this point decide whether or not there is enough interest to warrant mass production, or if the level of interest is such that it would be more sensible to manufacture it in low volumes as a special interest vehicle. Another alternative is to sell the Zoleco as a homebuilt kit for those that want a hands on cost effective way of getting into this type of car.