Finland may be the home of cellular phone giant, Nokia, but the country is beginning to make a name for itself in the automotive industry with a very special electric sports car a couple of years in the making.
We last heard about the ERA Electric Raceabout last year, so it was a little surprising that it took this long for the car to get back on the radar. Having said that, the Electric Raceabout is back in the news after spending some quality testing time at the world famous Nurburgring.
The electric sports car is the brainchild of the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and is being developed to become a serious player in a growing market. Details behind the car are still sketchy at best, but we do know that it weighs 1,700 kg and is built with a carbon fiber monococque chassis with high-strength steel sub-frames and double wishbones with adjustable coil-overs.
UPDATE 09/30/2011: The E-RA has turned out to be a real menace out on the track, setting the new EV record at the Nurburgring. During the attempt, the car was driven by German race driver, Ralf Kelleners, who needed to complete a full lap of 20,832 km in a time of only 8 minutes and 42.372 seconds. The average speed for the lap was 88 mph and the top speed was clocked in at 147 mph. What’s more impressive is that, during testing, the car hit a top speed of 151 mph. The E-RA consumed 25.6 kWh during its record lap, measured as energy taken from the grid to recharge the battery. This results in an energy consumption of 1230 Wh/km or 123 kWh/100km for the lap.
More details on the E-RA Electric Raceabout after the jump.
Exterior and Interior
The Electric Raceabout (E-RA) features a clean design language signed by the famous Institute of Design, Lahti Polytechnic. The car weights just 1700 kilos (3747 lbs) with a 43/57 weight distribution. The new E-RA is built on a carbon fiber monocoque and features high strength steel sub-frames and double wishbones with adjustable coil-overs.
The E-RA is a two-seater model that, according to the company, defines the future sports car. It features a long front and a shorter. The model is painted in a two-tone color scheme, including visible carbon-fiber texture, and features special front fenders, a forward-leaning stance, shoulder line, and roofline.
The ER-A is based on the lightweight aluminum chassis of the Audi R8 - from which it also takes the racing brakes. It is powered by four electric motors - one placed at each wheel. The four engines deliver a total of 268 HP and a peak torque of 737 HP and they will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in about six seconds, while top speed is about 124 mph.
The four engines take their power from an Altair NanoTechnologies 330kW Lithium-Titanate battery pack with 250kW charger which allows the vehicle to be recharged within 10-minutes. The vehicle has an autonomy of about 124 miles.
The E-RA is still in its testing phase, taking a 800 km trip through the Alps from Italy to Switzerland and lapping the Nurburgring in 9 minutes and 36 seconds. Once the testing is complete and the car is closer to production, we’re sure the pricing information will become readily available.
The ER-A is getting ahead in its testing just in time for a slew of electric cars ready to contend in the growing market, like the Opel Ampera and the Lightning GT. Of course, since production is nowhere near on the table, the ER-A may just miss the bus of opportunity and get left behind.
- Great look
- Is based on the Audi R8
- Impressive performance
- The car is still in the development phase
- There are much more powerful electric cars out there