The Denver auto show was abuzz by the Lightning LH4, a hydraulic hybrid vehicle (which will be available in 3-wheel and 4-wheel versions supposedly by 2011) and is a current contender for the $10 million X Prize for a 100 MPG+ vehicle.

Evoking perhaps everyone's favorite American car -- the classic '63 Corvette -- Lightning dispenses with that troublesome battery pack and has figured out a way to integrate a standard Volkswagen diesel engine with a Rexroth hydraulic system that uses compressed liquid to store energy.

But can it compete with the 100 MPG Hummer unveiled on Tuesday by the Governator? I don't know, but the Lightning is certainly triggering my consumer cravings -- I want one! And I'm not the only one. Apparently there is already a waiting list, which according to the rumor mill includes George Clooney.

Lightning Strikes: the hydraulic biodiesel hybrid
Using a diesel engine to power a hydraulic power system, Lightning hopes to take X Prize.