Hyundai QarmaQ’s Plastic Skin: Reduces Weight, Saves Gas

By Jon Alain Guzik, Editor-at-Large, Yahoo! Autos

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Think Green ?!?!

Any concept vehicle with a name derived from the word the Inuit’s use for their dwellings made of Earth, whalebone, and animal skins is bound to be interesting. Hyundai Europe's Design and Technical Center in Russelsheim, Germany partnered with GE Plastics in the Netherlands to create the QarmaQ – a quirky looking Crossover Coupé concept.

One of the QarmaQ’s key features is its innovative use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles to create a large portion of the vehicle’s skin. GE says the use of plastics, instead of more traditional metal and glass, gives the vehicle a 130-pound weight savings. That weight loss equates to 20 gallons a year savings in gas, not to mention fewer plastic bottles clogging up the local landfill. These numbers are nothing to scoff when you think of all the cars on the road.

Editor's note: Not sure I want to be sitting in recycled soda bottles at speeds between say... ten to thirty-five miles an hour -- just imagine if something went wrong at fifty-five miles an hour?

Isn't your safety, health or even your life worth more than $20 in gas savings a year if you were in an accident? Hmmn, seems like an interesting idea but maybe it's just got the wrong angle. Anyway, it's just a concept -- with a beautifully sleek design.

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