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EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Hungarian Antro Solo-Duo Promises Eco-Friendly Future And A Fitness Program

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By Pál Négyesi, Editor
The Auto Channel European Bureau
Balatonalmadi, Hungary

BUDAPEST - August 21, 2008:

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Imagine a vehicle with fuel consumption so low that it'll get 150 mpg; it will have a composite body; seating for three with an option of extending it to six; and a hybrid power-train combined with a possibility of bicycle-like pedaling... this is what a Hungarian team of "daydreamers" are promising with their recently unveiled Solo-Duo project.

I recall three or four years ago when my designer friend, Péter Üveges, showed me the first photos on the wooden mockups. I initially thought, “Well, this is not possible.” But the more I thought about it, the more I reminded myself that Peter usually only joins or under-takes projects that achieve the desired results. His no-nonsense approach to task-solving has worked time and again. At a later time, when I met the project leader, Zsolt Hegedűs, at an automotive conference where he touted the many advantages of the Solo-Duo and sought EU funding for the project, I was even more impressed. Now, I thought, "Wow, these guys just may pull off this miracle."

At the beginning of this summer, a presentation was held at the Hungarian Museum of Transport. The event received international media attention. On display at the museum was a working prototype of the Solo. Solo is the three-seat concept version of the vehicle. It was explained that a “Duo” six-seat version could also be available by joining two Solos at the hip, so to speak.

The 3,12 meter (approximately 123 in.) long Solo is powered by solar-cells. Energy is stored in lithium-ion batteries. Alternatively, the driver and passengers can pedal it. The second prototype will feature in-wheel electric motors as well, enabling the vehicle to achieve a max speed of over 80 mph.

Antro, an acronym for Alternative Energy Powered Vehicle Manufacturing Company, hopes to bring Solo to market by 2012. MSRP will be about $18,000. Further developments will be chronicled on