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Ronn Motor Co. Unwraps “Eco-Exotic” Scorpion

Who says supercars can’t be green? Poised to fulfill the age-old promise of a car that runs on plain old tap water (well, almost), the Ronn Motor Company has at last unveiled a running prototype of its mid-engine Scorpion roadster—touted as the world’s first “hydrogen-hybrid eco-exotic premium sports car.” The Austin, Texas-based start-up’s initial plans call for building 200 examples of the $150,000 Scorpion, with deliveries expected to commence early this year. Beneath its carbon-fiber composite body (fabricated by the famed Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters in Fountain Valley, California), the car employs a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter Acura V-6 engine modified to burn a blend of gasoline and hydrogen gas. Unlike Honda’s hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle, however, the Scorpion gets its H2 not from a dedicated hydrogen refueling station, but from an on-board electrolysis unit that separates regular water into its elemental components: oxygen and hydrogen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere and the hydrogen is delivered straight to the engine, contributing to the combustion process and reducing gasoline consumption by 30 to 40 percent. Even with as much as 600 horsepower and a top speed in excess of 200 mph, the Scorpion—claims CEO Ronn Maxwell (who founded the company with former Dell Computer executive Adrian Pylypec)—will return a fairly stunning 40 mpg. (www.ronnmotors.com)

Matthew Phenix

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