Robert Riley’s XR3 kit car is an amazing three-wheeled plug-in diesel hybrid. The trike gets a jaw dropping 225mpg on combined diesel-electric power and 125mpg when using only the 23hp diesel engine.

And hey, it kinda looks like that Back to the Future car!

The Details

Introduced back in June of 2008, the two-passenger car was designed so it can be assembled using readily available parts. Fully constructed, the car weighs in at 1480 pounds and has top speed of 80mph. And while you can only get 40 miles out of its lithium-ion battery pack, it can be plugged into any standard wall socket.

It’s an all-wheel-drive, ground-connected parallel hybrid, which means there’s no mechanical transmission between the two systems. It relies fully on the ground to provide the connection. The car can be run in diesel-only, battery-electric-only, or hybrid modes.

Riley’s site says that anyone with moderate skill can build the bike:

“Plans enable people with common building skills to build a duplicate of the XR3 Hybrid prototype or convert their own car into a significantly more fuel-efficient vehicle. Readers will understand the factors that influence fuel economy, and learn how to make any car achieve greater fuel economy. The XR3 Hybrid gives enthusiasts and experimenters the opportunity to significantly reduce their transportation expenses and have fun doing it.”

How Much Does it Cost?

While plans for building the car will only set you back about $99, the cost of building the vehicle is around $25,000. If you aren’t a DIYer, don’t worry, that is about to change as the XR3 is headed for production.

According to Riley: “With enough market penetration, super-efficient personal transit vehicles like the XR3 could forever put an end to imported oil, and do it with affordable technology that already exists.”

Riley told AutoblogGreen:

“The vehicle will arrive at our prototype facilities on the outskirts of Cleveland in a few weeks, and then it’ll go out to the Center for Automotive Research where they’ll run tests, computer-model the results, and do various changes to optimize the power train so we can freeze the design for production.”

Riley said the reason Cleveland was chosen was, “The region has a strong and underutilized manufacturing base that is ideally suited for this type of venture.”

If you want to build it yourself, there are choices which can reduce the cost to about $7,500. But the girl’s not included.

Source | Images: Autoblog Green and