The Edison2 Very Light Car has won the grand prize $5 million Progressive Automotive X Prize for a 100 mpg+ vehicle, and it did so without a hybrid drivetrain or battery power. Its secret? Small displacement and low, low weight.

The X Prize put $10 million in prize money up for designers interested in creating fuel efficient alternatives to our current automotive infrastructure that were producable and livable. Numerous teams entered, but just a few made it into the finals.

In what's clearly a major victory for those who think lighter, simpler gas-powered cars are the future E85l-fueled, single-cylinder four-seater won out over hybrids and battery-electric vehicles for the mainstream prize. The strange Edison2 Very Light Car achieved a 102.5 mpg rating in testing with existing technology.


The other two winners include Li-Ion Motors, who captured $2.5 million with their Wave II electric vehicle and its 187 mpg equivalent. Switzerland's X-Tracer Team just won in the two-seat tandem category with a 205.3 mpg equivalent.

Now that the prizes have been handed out, the next big test is to see if any of these vehicles can succeed in the marketplace.

[Consumer Reports]