Mitsubishi is preparing to enter this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb held from June 25 to June 30 with a specially prepared MiEV Evolution II all-electric prototype. Mitsubishi will have two entries in the competition and is hoping for an overall first place. Mitsubishi climbed the Pikes Peak last year for the first time when it managed to finish second in the Electric Division.
The prototype prepared for this year’s climb once again uses parts used in production vehicles combined with a high-capacity battery and high-output motors both specially designed by MMC’s suppliers.
When compared to the model raced last year, the new MiEV Evolution II receives a S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) integrated vehicle dynamics control system that helps increase handling and control.
The first MiEV Evolution II will be driven by two-time Dakar Rally overall champion Hiroshi Masuoka and the second one by Greg Tracy, six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution competitors.
If we told you that an electric car outpaced BMW, Mercedes and Audi to start of the year, you would likely be making sure you haven’t figured out time travel by mistake. Well, folks, this is no glimpse into the future; it’s reality (sort of).
During the initial three months of 2013, the Tesla Model S actually managed to beat BMW, Mercedes and Audi in total registrations in the U.S. for similar models. The S-Class saw 3,077 registrations, the BMW 7 Series had 2,338 registrations and Audi pulled up the rear with 1,462 A8 deliveries. In the same amount of time, the Model S saw 4,750 new registrations, beating all three of the German giants.
Sure, the Model S is a totally different kind of car that is prone to seeing sudden spikes in registrations and it lacks the internal competition between models that Bimmer, Benz and Audi all have. Additionally, buyers get a hefty $7,500 tax credit just for buying the model S. But, the Model S is severely handcuffed by its limited sales avenues, thanks to weird laws in most states that prohibit direct builder-to-buyer sale and Tesla refusing to sell independent franchises.
Another handcuff to consider is the fact that the Model S is an electric car that can easily leave you stranded, should you run out of charge.
Despite the fact that this new information only covers the first few months of the year and is likely skewed by other factors, the pure fact that the Model S can hang with the big boys in sale is a promising sign for Tesla and all electric vehicles.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S
The 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was quite a successful one for Toyota, as the company set a new EV record of 10:15.380 up the hill in the Electric class. For this year’s hill climb, the company prepared an improved version of its electric car in an attempt to break its previous run.
The improved version of the P002 is powered by an electric motor that takes its power from a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery. This electric drivetrain delivers a total of 536 horsepower (up from the previous 469 horsepower) and a peak torque of 885 pound-feet. The new P002 can hit a top speed of 142 mph.
The model is being developed on a Radical chassis and features an aerodynamic package to help keep the car glued to the ground at high speeds.
The new TMG EV P002 will be driven by Rod Millen at Pikes Peak on June 30th and one week later it will arrive at Le Mans 24 Hours.
Click past the jump to read more about the TMG EV P002 technical specifications.
A few months ago, Elon Musk announced Tesla’s intention to develop an optional package that would put Tesla Model S on same level as the McLaren MP4-12C. Quite an interesting decision, but it finally came to life – sort of – with the announcement of a new "Plus" package priced at an extra $6,500.
The new package can only be ordered with the 85-kWh Performance version of the Model S and, according to Tesla, it improves "performance, comfort and efficiency."
The package will add revised suspension dampers and bushings, updated stabilizer bars and tires. The rear tires are 20 mm (0.78 inches) wider and staggered for improved acceleration on low-grip surfaces. Range improves 6 to 12 miles with 21-inch wheels.
Alongside to the new Plus package, Tesla also plans to offer a Plus Retrofit package for current Model S owners. It will be available this summer and will cost $13,500. According to the first details, this new package will "provide the enthusiast driver with a more responsive car and added cornering grip while maintaining excellent ride quality."
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Tesla Model S.
Bristol Cars is a British-based company founded in 1945 that specializes in developing hand-built luxury cars. The company produces only 20 units per year, but even so, it manages to maintain loyal clientele.
One of the most famous cars developed by Bristol was the Fighter - a sports car that can hit a top speed of about 200 mph. Along with that beast, the company has developed lots of other models and all of them used either BMW or Chrysler engines to power them.
Now Bristol wants to hit that 200 mph mark one more time, but this time in a new extended-range electric GT supercar. The model is still in its development process and will be shown in concept form at the end of this year.
It will use the same design language we saw on the 2009 Giugiaro-styled Namir supercar concept and will be offered with technology developed by Surrey-based technology group Frazer-Nash Research.
Note: pictures shown here are of the Giugiaro Namir Concept, not the Bristol GT.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Bristol GT.
At the end of March, Venturi dropped the first details on its intention to hit an amazing 435 mph (700 km/h) at the famed Salt Flats in Bonneville, Utah - also known as the world speed capital. Today the company has finally dropped the first details on the vehicle that will be used for this attempt: the third-generation "Venturi Jamais Contente", aka VBB-3.
The VBB-3 is fully electric and develops a total of 3,000 horsepower. Venturi’s first record was established in 2010 when the VBB-2.5 went up to a top speed of 495 km/h (307.58 mph). With the VBB-3, Venturi plans to go up to 600 km/h (372.82 mph) and, in 2014, it plans to hit 700 km/h (434.96 mph). The biggest surprise will be revealed in 2015, but that remains a secret for now.
The VBB-3 will make its first appearance at the Bonneville Salt Flats on August 10th through 16th of 2013 and the first record attempts will take place on September 12 and 18, 2013.
Click past the jump to learn about some land speed record set at Bonnevvile.
The other day, Renault teased a new electric concept car and we were expecting to see something big - something at least similar to the Alpine A110-50 Concept. Unfortunately, the new concept is quite disappointing, at least aesthetically.
The new Twizy F1 Concept has been developed on a single-seat racecar platform and, according to Renault, it is "a bridge between the world of F1 technology and that of production cars." The problem is that along with the technology, Renault Sport also decided to use some F1-inspired design elements that are just a little too much for the super-compact Twizy.
While the look is something questionable, what lies under the hood makes us completely forget about how wrong things went to Renault design laboratory this time. The technology behind the concept was developed by engineers from both Renaultsport and their colleagues at Renault Sport F1 and it is essentially the same as the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used in the Renault Formula 1 cars.
UPDATE 05/17/13: If you thought that the Renault Twizy F1 Concept is just that, a concept, well, think again. Click past the jump to see how this little concept can throw down!
Click past the jump to read more about the new Renault Twizy F1 Concept.
For 43 years now, each year on April 22nd, more than 190 countries around the Globe celebrate "Earth Day." We are talking about one day each year when everyone needs to show his or her personal interest on the environment.
This special day has been selected as the perfect opportunity to announce the launch of a new FIA Formula E Championship - the world’s first fully-electric Formula E race set to begin in 2014. The races will be hosted in 10 cities around the Globe, with the first race set to be held in Los Angeles.
From L.A., Formula E will move to cities like Miami; London and Rome in Europe; Beijing and Putrajaya in Asia; and Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero in South America. Two more cities will be announced at a later date.
For the Los Angeles Formula E competition a total of 10 teams with two drivers each announced their intention to enter the race. Each model will provide autonomy of about 1 hour in full-electric mode and will be able to hit a top speed of 140 mph. For this special race, Los Angeles has upgraded or installed 121 public electric vehicle charging stations.
As a preview for the upcoming race, Los Angeles citizens were able to admire a Formula E car driven by ex-Formula 1 racer and official Formula E test driver, Lucas di Grassi.
Click past the jump to read more about the Formula E Championshiop
Renault has dropped a new teaser image for a concept vehicle that is going to be unveiled at the company’s Valladolid plant in Spain in just two days. The teaser image reveals nearly nothing about the concept, but Renault announced it will be an electric vehicle with technology inspired by the Formula 1 race cars. Sounds pretty cool, huh?
Renault confirmed that the concept will feature "muscular styling and impressive performance credentials, provides a bridge between the world of Formula 1 and that of electric vehicles. It’s a concept car that will make a lot of noise...but, in total silence."
The new concept was developed in cooperation with Renault Sport and, as we can tell from this first teaser image, it will feature a window that provides a glimpse of the electric motor that powers the car.
Full details on this new concept will be unveiled on April 25th. Stay tuned for more details.
Click past the jump to read more about Renault’s EV technology
When we went out for a test drive in the Fisker Karma last year, we thought that it felt a little more high-tech than the $100,000 price tag led us to believe. Everything operated smoothly, the interior was plush, the performance was admirable and its look was downright stunning. With all of this technology and design comes a hefty price, and boy did Fisker feel its belt tightening with each and every Karma it produced.
With its bankruptcy proceedings pretty mu inevitable, PrivCo dug up all the public record s it could to have a look at Fisker’s financial goings on, and it found that the each Karma produced cost a total of $660,000 but sold for only about $100k – that’s just bad business, folks. Now, we’re not saying that each car it built literally cost $660k, what this means is that when you take all of the research and development cost, advertising costs and the other costs associated with the car and divided it by the number of Karma’s sold, you get roughly $660k.
At that rate, there was no way Fisker could have survived anyways, but the fact that it was the victim of management that would likely make Lotus’ former management look good just accelerated things. In fact, PrivCo has released a detailed review of Fisker $1.3 billion debacle, which really opens our eyes to just how promising the model was and outlines exactly where things completely fell apart. You can see this study here.
The fortunate thing is that Fisker’s advanced EVer system will likely be bought out during the bankruptcy process, so even though we will not see another Karma on the road, it may live on in spirit through future models using this awesome drive system.