Ultimate 'Jugaad': Students make car that runs 300 km on a litre!

Taking the term 'jugaad' – the Indian term for improvisation in the face of need – to a new level, students of the K J Somaiya College of Engineering have created a car from scraps and leftovers that they say can give a fuel economy of 300 km a litre of petrol – which would make petrol seem cheaper than bottled water, and which they have named `Jugaad'.

Bunking classes, collecting piles of scrap and moulding these into a fibreglass creation that somewhat resembles a car, the students plonked in a lawn mower engine onto the frame and gave it a set of three wheels.

The single-seat wonder car weighs a mere 60kg, 10kg less than the weight of its creator Kunal Jain. Yet it maintains good balance and does not swerve around. ''We have tested this vehicle on the roads near our college and have found it has the potential to reach 300km per litre,'' says Jain.

There is no mention from the team about the speeds at which the car can or should be driven.

The second-year students designed this car to help the common motorist beat the soaring price of petrol and diesel. Jain and co-inventor Tony Thomas rallied 40 of their classmates and after five months of designing, deliberation and execution the Jugaad car was ready to roll.

The car is of course still a long way from commercial production; it is rather meant as a base for future innovation. Its team of creators will represent Maharashtra at the Shell-Eco Marathon Care Race to be held at the Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July.

Jain says, ''In our library was a book named 'Jugaad Innovation'. We were inspired by it. That's why we thought the name `Jugaad' would be apt for this car.''

Tony Thomas adds, ''We would spend about 8-9 hours on this after college, sometimes bunk college to work on the designs. Then, we visited manufacturing units to get a basic idea.''

The car cost the team Rs4 lakh to make.