Reva was a relatively small Indian electric car manufacturer, which for a long time had an uncertain future. However, the company’s luck did a 180 degree turn after it was bought by Mahindra, one of the biggest Indian car manufacturers.
Mahindra saw a great potential in Reva’s ideas and judging by today’s rising interest in EV’s, there’s no wonder why.
Reva may be a visionary company, but its first electric vehicle was received with skeptical eyes by the public. It’s true that it was the world’s first mass production electric vehicle available on the market, but this doesn’t mean that it was a charming one. It had a dull style, a third class build quality, and a rudimentary interior. Its only advantages were the affordable price and the unmatched efficiency.
Fortunately, Reva is working on a much improved EV which is planned to be launch by the end of 2012. Moreover, Mahindra has even presented a pre-production version of its new Reva NXR which proves us that they’ve made a major step forward in terms of design and technology.
Hit the jump for more information on the Mahindra Reva NXR.
The Mahindra Reva NXR was designed for city driving, so its exterior dimensions are pretty small. The vehicle sits on small 13 inch wheels wrapped in 145/70R13 tyres and the wheel base measures 1710 mm.
Despite its short length and narrow width, the Mahindra Reva NXR is pretty tall, which leaves it exposed to body roll effect. To counteract this disadvantage, the wheels are pushed out at the corners and the ground clearance is relatively low, being rated at 140 mm.
Moving away from the rudimentary style found on the old Reva-i, the new NXR features a modern design language that was developed by the famous Dilip Chabbria.
The front is dominated by a massive honeycomb grille which is fitted with Mahindra’s logo in its center. The modern grille is flanked by two swept back headlights which add a dose of dynamism to the entire design.
The front bumper is fitted with two small fog lamps and is nicely integrated into the body. It also copes great with the muscular front fenders and the trapezoidal grille.
The Mahindra Reva NXR features an ABS body which, in case of an impact, is able to soak up energy and then come back to its original shape. The vehicle’s rigidity is assured by a robust steel frame which protects the passengers from any harm in case of accident.
Once inside, you are assaulted by cheap plastics and a dull dashboard but we have to admit that the NXR’s build quality has been much improved over the previous model and the overall ergonomics are also much better.
The center stack is painted in a different color than the rest of the dash and is fitted with a large LCD screen paired with a set of easy to reach controls.
While you may have a few complaints about the dull dash and its cheap plastics, you’ll certainly find the sporty leather seats fairly comfortable and supportive. The driving position is pretty comfortable, even if the head and shoulder-room is a bit limited for our tastes.
The car is fitted with a pair of rear seats, but they are cramped and offer limited leg-room. Though, they are more spacious than the similarly sized Fiat 500 and even the Ford Ka.
Unfortunately, the steering wheel isn’t as modern as we would’ve expected to find in a new car, but at least it offers a decent grab and is also wrapped in leather. Behind the steering wheel, you’ll find a huge round, digital gauge which displays various vehicle stats but also gives the cabin a touch of class.
Engines and Performance
The Mahindra Reva NXR runs only on electricity, so don’t expect a fuel-powered version anytime soon.
At launch, the company will offer two versions of the Reva. The first version will be equipped with a pack of lithium ion batteries which will offer a maximum range of 160 km and a top speed of 104 kmph. On the other hand, the second NXR will come with lead-acid batteries which are slightly weaker than the previous ones offering a range of 80 km and a top speed of 80 kmph. Both types of batteries can be fully charged in a reasonable time of eight hours using a standard socket. With a fast charge point, the batteries can be charged in only 90 minutes and offer an effective range of 320km a day. If you are in a hurry, you can plug in the NXR for only 15 minutes charge which is enough to provide energy for up to 40 km (25 miles).
The NXR is also equipped with the REVive remote emergency charge system. The REVive is basically an invisible reserve fuel tank and addresses ‘range anxiety.’ It can be used only in case of emergencies, by calling REVA’s customer support center for complete indications.
The Mahindra Reva NXR will be priced around 15,000 euros, but the price doesn’t include the battery pack. Even with the extra cost of batteries, the NXR is still a little cheaper than what you’d usually find in the segment.
Apart from its decent price, we also like the exterior design. The interior is pretty spacious for the class, but the dashboard and center stack are far from being catchy.
As far as performances goes, the lithium ion powered version is the clear winner, as it provides the best range and top speed. However, the lead acid model will be slightly cheaper, so the NXR will appeal to a wider range of customers.