On the outside, it’s a basic, affordable, midsized Chevy Malibu.
But on the inside it’s a hybrid like no other, with two separate engines — one biodiesel, the other electric — that together give it the muscle of, well, a muscle car, not the faint and tentative speed of some hybrids.
For the past three years, a team of University of Washington students has designed, planned, tested, rebuilt, rewired and re-engineered the innards of the General Motors car.
Last week the team showed it off at Denny International Middle School, where sixth-graders in teacher Ben Evans’ science class swarmed around the car parked in front of the school, and peppered UW students Ryan Mallory and Jake Garrison with a hundred questions.
How much could you sell it for? How long did it take to make it? What’s that red button? What if it doesn’t work?
How did you get that big sticker on the car? Why is there a fire extinguisher inside?
What are those wires for?
Could it charge your phone?
“It’s fantastic,” said sixth-grader Asli Edey. “I think it’s going to be my dream car.”