Epic Electric Vehicles is a relatively new company and we had not heard many things about it until 2010 when presented with the first details of its new electric roadster. Two years later, the new Epic Torq should be making its big debut in 2012.
Apart from the new roadster, the company is also working on an electric ATV and an electric boat, which are also planned to be launched later in 2012.
Judging by the first details, the new electric roadster should be a lot of fun, being able to reach the 60 mph mark in less than 4 seconds.
Technically, the Epic Torq is a bare bones three wheeler with a few carbon fiber panels and a spartan cockpit. Power comes from a 200hp electric motor which is fed by a set of 30 kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries mounted under the floor. For the moment, there aren’t any price specifications released, but we don’t expect it o be cheap.
Leaving its three wheel configuration aside, it’s still hard to put the Epic Torq in the “cars” category as it’s basically a chassis on wheels that looks more like a cart than a sports car. We’ll also have to admit that we’re not big fans of the exterior design, as it’s pretty rudimentary and seems poorly finished.
On the other hand, the front end doesn’t look that bad and we dare say that it can even be considered charming. We especially like the robust headlights and the aggressive front wing, which look very close to the ones found on F1 cars. The low wing is not only a design element, as it’s also an important piece of the aerodynamic puzzle, helping the car cut easier through the air and keeping it better glued to the ground during high speed driving.
The company decided to leave the front cam suspensions uncovered, thus adding a touch of aggressiveness to an otherwise pretty dull design.
Viewed from the side, the Epic Torq looks like a boat on wheels and there are no doors. As you move toward the back, the side body panels get closer to each other and meet forming an odd sharp tail fitted with a big light cluster.
The resulting design is pretty strange, but we’ll have to admit that the company didn’t have too many options to choose from because the vehicle uses a T type chassis. This chassis allowed for mounting a front suspension with a battery tunnel behind and center to increase performance. The chassis is also perfectly suited for possible enclosed versions of the Torq.
The exterior design may not win any beauty awards, but it offers a perfect weight distribution for the 3-wheel architecture and also allows for over 1G of lateral acceleration. Moreover, the company says that the three wheel architecture “reduces drag on the tarmac by 25%, making everything from acceleration to range more efficient.”
Despite the company’s struggles to make their roadster as lightweight as possible, the end result is far from impressive because the car still weighs 1800 lbs, a pretty big number for such a vehicle.
Once you hop inside, you are met by a spartan cabin which can accommodate only two adults. The driver and passenger seats are separated by a rudimentary center stack which is fitted with a pair of cup holders and an iPhone stand.
There is also a simple dash which comes with a small display that gives readings from the electric motor and batteries, while other indicators are found behind the steering wheel.
Talking about the steering wheel, it looks fairly sporty thanks to its flat-bottom design and also seems to offer a confident grab. Perhaps it goes without saying that it comes without any integrated controls.
The Epic Torq doesn’t come with a roof, but you do get a lightweight plexi-glass window to keep exterior elements out while driving at high speeds. Fortunately, the sport seats seem to offer enough support to allow you to play around without problems at three digit speeds, but leg-room could prove to be a bit limited.
Engine and Performance
The Epic Torq is powered by a 200 hp electric motor mounted on the front axle. The motor delivers a maximum torque of 612 lb-ft available from as low as 1 rpm. All this power is sent to the front wheels by means of a single speed transmission which also comes with a reverse mode.
Thanks to the massive torque and the 1800 lbs weight, the roadster is able to kill the 0-60 mph time in less than 4 seconds, which is at par with most of the electric vehicles in its class.
The motor is powered by a pack of 30 kWh lithium iron phosphate batteries which are mounted under the floor, thus keeping the center of gravity low. Unfortunately, for the moment, we don’t have any details about the charging time or the vehicle’s range, but let’s hope they’ll be reasonable.
Epic Torq Specifications
|OVERALL HEIGHT/WIDTH/LENGTH|| 48.0/87.0(outside fenders)/162.0|
|TRACK (FRONT)|| 80.5"|
|MIN. GROUND CLEARANCE|| 5"|
|CURB WEIGHT (LBS)|| 1700bs|
|SEATING CAPACITY|| Two|
The Epic Torq sounds good on paper, so we can expect for it to offer a pretty thrilling driving experience. Its three wheel configuration should also give you a totally different sensation than the one offered by a regular four wheel car. Not to mention the super fast acceleration and the massive torque.
Then again, there are a lot of unanswered questions such as the price, range and how much time is needed to charge the batteries. Once these questions are answered, we should have a clearer picture as to the capabilities of the Epic Torq.
Front end is a highlight of the design
Focused on aerodynamics and lightweight
Great power and performance
No price, no charging times
How practical is a 3-Wheeler?