Urbee Hybrid

Urbee Hybrid

This week’s 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas won’t be home to just ridiculously modified muscle cars and pickup trucks, this year’s event will have a few green vehicles out in force. Take the new Urbee Hybrid, a car its makers describe as the world’s first 3D printed auto.

Developed by Minneapolis’ Stratasys and Winnipeg engineering group, Kor Ecologic, the Urbee features a body 3D printed with an additive process. All exterior components--including the glass panel prototypes--were created using Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus 3D Production Systems at Stratasys’ digital manufacturing service.

Few details on its powertrain are known but according to its makers its hybrid system allows it to return a fuel economy of up to 200 mpg on the highway and 100 mpg in the city. For combined city and highway use, the Urbee gets about 150 mpg and costs only 2 cents per mile at current fuel prices. This is only about 10 percent of the fuel consumed by a typical SUV. And on the highway, it costs about 1 cent per mile, or 95 percent less than that same SUV.

If the Urbee looks familiar that’s because the car also competed recently in the 2010 X-Prize Competition and its development has been chronicled by the Discovery Channel.