The Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah is where many land-speed records have been captured. In August of 2014, a joint project by Venturi and the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research will attempt to hit an amazing 435 mph (700 km/h) at the famed salt flats. To make the attempt even more awe inspiring, they will be attempting this in an all-electric vehicle.
The vehicle that will try to break the record is the Venturi VBB-3. In order for it to accomplish this feat, Venturi and Ohio State are working on a monstrous 3,000-horsepower, all-electric motor that makes the Bugatti Veyron just look pedestrian in comparison. To help make the task a little easier, this massive motor is fitted in a sleek body that looks like it is only a set of wings away from asking for clearance to take off.
Venturi certainly knows a thing or two about EV top speed, as they currently hold the record of 307 mph (495 km/h) for an electric vehicle and this is their attempt to best themselves.
We’ll keep an eye on the progress of the Venturi, and let you know if they succeed in their task in August of 2014.
Back in 1939, Detroit Electric stopped producing cars and the last one rolled out of a showroom in 1942, then things went quiet until 2008. This is when Zap snagged up the famed moniker and sat on it for a few years, as management decided what to do with it. Seemingly out of nowhere, Detroit Electric has just dropped a press release announcing that it is coming back in full fury with an all-electric sports car and they released the first teaser image of this new car (above).
This yet-to-be-named sports car will be revealed for the first time in Detroit Electric’s hometown in April – likely at the Fisher Building. After that, the car will be unveiled globally at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 20th. In Shanghai is where all of the juicy bits of information will be released, including the announcement of the “major partnership” with a “global carmaker” that helped make its resurrection possible. We’re not too sure which global carmaker that Detroit Electric is teaming up with, but we are thinking it is likely one of the “Big Three.”
The new sports car is expected to start production in August of 2013 and the factory can handle about 2,500 cars annually. According to the Detroit Electric, the sports car will feature “bold styling, outstanding performance, exhilarating handling characteristics and impressive range,” so it looks like we’re in for something really special.
This isn’t all that Detroit Electric is up to, as they also announced that they will offer up a family of all-electric cars with two other high-performance models that will hit the market in 2014. We can’t wait to get some more details…
So, we have been very patient with what may be one of the best crossover SUVs ever built: the Tesla Model X.
We were expecting to see the Model X released in late-2013 for the 2014 model year, but things are changing, as they usually do. According to a report by Los Angeles Times, the Model X’s production has been pushed to late-2014 with deliveries happening in 2015.
The reasoning for the delay is that Tesla has been so focused on improving the Model S that it chose to push the Model X back, as opposed to rushing through it. We’ll take that excuse at its face value, but that seems almost like a cop-out, as we haven’t seen any changes to the Model S since it was released, sans a significant price hike. Maybe there is a change to the Model S around the corner that we are not yet aware of.
So, those of you that are excited to get your hands on this crossover SUV that hits 60 mph in under 5 seconds while looking pretty sexy, you’re just going to have to wait a little longer.
It was fun, Acrua NSX, but ultimately, Tony Stark is returning to his old love.
With Stark set to return to the big screen this coming May for Iron Man 3, the eccentric billionaire playboy will once again sit behind the wheels of his old flame, the Audi R8. The German supercar has been on the side of Stark since the first Ironman movie, but was left in the garage in favor of the NSX when Stark and his superhero buddies teamed up in the Avengers.
But now that it’s back to Iron Man, the R8, or specifically, the battery-powered R8 e-tron, is back in the loving arms of Tony Stark. You can see some production photos of Iron Man 3 that was released by Audi and clearly see Robert Downey Jr. behind the wheel of the German exotic.
Just like his high-powered suits, the Audi R8, in whatever variant it is, just suits Tony Stark to a tee.
When thinking about Spanish supercars, GTA Spano is no doubt the first coming to our minds. But today, Spanish engineering firm, Applus+Idiada, has revealed the first teaser images of a new electric supercar called the Volar-E. The EV was developed in cooperation with Croatian company, Rimac, the same company that developed the amazing Concept one.
According to first details offered on the concept, the new Volar-E prototype was created in a record time of about three months. The model was built on a tubular chrome-molybdenum chassis and features lightweight carbon-fiber bodywork. The Volar-E is powered by a combination of four in-wheel electric motors that deliver a more than 800 kW (1,072 horsepower) and a peak torque of 1,106 pound-feet. These four engines take their power from a 10-module Rimac battery system with a total of 640 volts and 38kWh of energy. Surprisingly, the battery pack takes only 15 to 20 minutes to fully charge. This battery is combined with a regenerative braking system that will generate even more power.
The new Volar-E will make its world debut at the Circuit de Catalunya on the 28th of February, 2013.
Updated 02/28/2013: The new Applus+Idiada Volar-E made its debut today at the Circuit de Catalunya during the F1 Test Days and this was the perfect opportunity for the company to reveal a video of the new electric supercar on the test track.
The Espera Sbarro design school in France gave the Geneva Motor Show a treat last year when it presented the Intencity Concept. While there’s really no production future for concepts like the Esperra Intencity, the vehicle does go to show the level of brilliance these students have in them.
This year, 30 students from Espera Sbarro have designed yet another concept vehicle that’s headed to Geneva. It’s called the REACT’E.V. Concept and it’s another barnburner of a design, to say the least.
The swooping design of the REACT’E.V. Concept certainly alludes to it being a hyper-aggressive sports car. All the elements are there: aggressive bumpers, bulging wheel arches, and angular ’wincing’ headlights. Taken as a whole, the concept looks pretty amazing.
Eye-opening design aside, the REACT’E.V. Concept was also built with a pretty stout hybrid powertrain inside it. First, there’s the PSA-sourced V-6 combustion engine that produces 210 horsepower and mated to a five-speed manual transmission that courses the power to the rear wheels. But that’s not all the power the REACT’E.V. Concept features. It also has a pair of electrical motors, each producing 136 horsepower (100kW) and 554 pound-feet (750Nm) of torque and a 24kWh battery.
All told, the REACT’E.V. Concept has been pegged to produce 482 horsepower and 1,108 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot of power, folks, one we wouldn’t mind seeing out on the road in the future.
But don’t sleep on the other concept because chances are, at least in the future, you might find more of these bad boys out on the road.
It’s called the i-Road Concept, Toyota’s zero-emission concept study of a future city car. Not a whole lot of details were divulged, but the automaker did say that the concept will be come with a 1+1 tandem-seating layout.
It’s a compact, fun, and emission-free personal mobility concept that doesn’t look all that impressive - it reminds us of a fly, unfortunately, but it does come with future tech that will probably be of good use as the world shifts toward a more eco-friendly approach to living.
In any case, we’ll have more info surrounding the i-Road concept when it makes its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
Following the damaged caused to a slew of Fisker Karmas by Hurricane Sandy, Fisker’s insurer denied the claim and the EV builder almost immediately filed a $33 million lawsuit against the insurer. According to a report, the two companies have settled the lawsuit and all legal action was dropped.
There is no mention of who started the settlement process, but this does seem like strange timing. See, only weeks ago Fisker hired a consultant to help the struggling manufacturer save a little money and to search for a potential partner or buyer. It’s common knowledge that a pending legal battle makes it much harder to talk a potential partner into joining forces and even tougher to find a buyer.
This leads us to believe that Fisker may have a partner or buyer that is interested, but wanted the legal battle settled before moving forward. This is all multiplied by the recent report from Reuters that Geeley, the Chinese automaker and owner of Volvo, was more than just a little interested in purchasing majority stake in Fisker.
All of this is coming together all too well for us to ignore the possibility of Fisker selling sooner rather than later.
We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you.
Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has never been one to look for the spotlight. Even if they have concepts in these auto shows, they’re more than content to show their latest offerings without any hints of trying to upstage anybody else.
At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Mitsu will be bringing two concepts that will probably get little attention but are no less important, as it pertains to the future of their vehicular lineup. One of these concepts is called the CA-MiEV Concept.
Described as a next-generation EV that follows in the reins of the MiEV, the CA-MiEV will feature a slew of new technologies to go with what looks like an aggressively designed exterior that’s highlighted by a pretty striking set of LED headlights. We don’t know about you, but we’re very interested to see this concept with the lights on.
As far as the technologies are concerned, Mitsubishi is indicating that the CA-MiEV will carry a lot of them, including high-energy-density batteries and high-efficiency EV systems (motor, inverter, regenerative braking and wireless charging system) with both systems, enabling the concept to carry a cruising range of 300 km.
We’re looking forward to seeing what Mitsubishi has with the CA-MiEV. At the very least, this could be an interesting concept that brings attention back to the Japanese automaker.
When we reviewed the Fisker Karma back in November 2012, we were pretty sure that this was a model with a promising future in the U.S. market. Apparently, we were wrong. It looks like Fisker hasn’t produced any vehicles in more than six months, and the problems do not stop here.
Apparently the company is still having big problems with cash, which really took off when the U.S. Department of Energy decided to freeze about $300 million of the $529 million loan Fisker was supposed to receive. Our contact at Fisker confirmed through several news outlets that the electric vehicle manufacturer has hired a consultant to oversee day-to-day operations in an attempt to conserve cash. The other detail to emerge is that sources close to the company are reporting that Fisker is seeking bidders to enter a partnership with or a possible acquisition.
Fisker officials confirmed that the company already attracted interest from companies like the Swedish vendor Valmet and a few others companies in China that may be interested in either being strategic partners or in the technology developed by Fisker. However, problems for Fisker do not stop here: recently battery supplier A123 Systems Inc. filed for bankruptcy and Fisker remains without the most important part of Karma model. Wanxiang – the likely buyer of A123’s assets – has interest in providing Fisker the batteries it so badly needs, so that part may work itself out.
We’re just hoping they will find a solution pretty soon; it will be a shame not to see them on the market in the future!
If you remember the Bobs from Office Space, then you know what it means when a company hires an outside consultant.