Venturi Automobiles started its life as a Monegasque-based manufacturer founded by former Heuliez engineers Claude Piraud and Gerar Godfroy. The company’s initial purpose was to create a grand tourer capable of competing against Ferraris and Porsches. Although Venturi never achieved that goal, it did roll out a couple of exciting, mid-engined coupes powered by V-6 engines mated to Renault-sourced gearboxes. Its most notable creations are the 260 Atlantique, the 300 Atlantique, and the 400 GT. Following a brief venture into endurance racing, Venturi was aquired by Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor, who decided the company should focus on building electric cars. The move spawned the Venturi Fetish, the world’s first two-seater electric sports car. The futuristic-looking Fetish preceded the Tesla Roadster by two years. The fetish was followed by a range of innovative concept cars, culminating with the America, a full-electric, two-seater, "all-road sports car."

Unlike its predecessors, the America is set to become a production model, with assembly to begin in 2015. Moreover, the "high-voltage buggy", as it’s described by its creator, is an unusual proposition to the EV market by combining sports car-like performance with the ride height of a crossover and the appearance of a buggy, cut-out doors and a T-top roof included. Read on to find out more about this out-of-the-ordinary electric car.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Venturi America.


2015 Venturi America Exterior
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2015 Venturi America Exterior
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2015 Venturi America High Resolution Exterior
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When viewed from the side, the America's buggy-like shape becomes more obvious.

The exterior design of the America is particularly interesting, as it blends cues normally seen on a lightweight sports car with those of a buggy. The carbon-composite body is mostly clean to look at, but it becomes rather dramatic around the sides thanks to its muscular fenders and unconventional doors. The front fascia is as modern as it gets, incorporating large bumper dams, a small V-shaped grille and headlamp clusters that remind me of the Alfa Romeo 4C.

The rear end is much simpler visually, highlighted by a large diffuser-like piece that goes halfway into the fascia. The same triangular emblem is mounted in the center, with a pair of simple, round taillights placed toward the edges. When viewed from the side, the America’s buggy-like shape become more obvious. The short overhangs, the massive wheel arches, and the cut-out doors contribute to its sturdy appearance as well. Rounding off the exterior is a T-top roof, making the Venturi America the most exotic-looking production EV this side of the Tesla Roadster.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,125 MM (162.4 In.)
Width 2,060 MM (81.1 In.)
Height 1,450 MM (57.1 In.)
Ground clearance 280 MM (11 In.)
Wheelbase 2,670 MM (105.1 In.)


2015 Venturi America High Resolution Interior
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2015 Venturi America High Resolution Interior
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2015 Venturi America High Resolution Interior
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A digital instrument cluster displays all the vital information such as speed, revs and battery data, while the steering wheel in front of it is as simple as it gets.

Venturi didn’t release any interior specs as of this writing, but the official photos show the company focused on providing an ergonomic and user-friendly cockpit. The tall center console that separates the two seats has no buttons and switches whatsoever, meaning the driver communicates with the vehicle via the touchscreen infotainment system exclusively. A digital instrument cluster displays all the vital information such as speed, revs and battery data, while the steering wheel is as simple as it gets.

There is no mentioning of premium features such as leather or Alcantara, but it seems the sporty seats are quite cozy and ready to provide extensive support for both track hooning and off-road driving. Five interior trims are available. Customers can opt for either a full-black cockpit or a combo in which the black surfaces are complemented by more lively colors, including white, mauve, orange and red.


2015 Venturi America High Resolution Exterior
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Once the battery pack is drained, it can be recharged through a 22 kW on-board charger in three and a half hours.

Motivating the Venturi America is an electric twin-motor unit that delivers 401 horsepower and a maximum torque of 354 pound-feet to the rear wheels. Tipping the scales at 3,362 pounds, the buggy can hit 62 mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds and 124 mph in 14 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 137 mph, which is not bad for a full-electric vehicle.

The 53 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery backing the electric motor enables the America to travel up to 155 miles on a single charge. Once the battery pack is drained, it can be recharged through a 22 kW on-board charger in three and a half hours.

The EV comes with three distinct driving modes: Cruising, Sport, and Supersport. As you might have already guessed, Cruising provides the best driving range, while the Supersport setup allows access to the vehicle’s solid performance figures.


Type Electric Twin Motor
Output 401 HP
Torque 354 LB-FT @ 6,000 RPM
0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) 4.5 seconds
0 - 200 km/h (124 mph) 14 seconds
Top speed 220 km/h (137 mph)


2015 Venturi America High Resolution Exterior
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Venturi has yet to announce a price tag for the America, but it did confirm the electric car will make it to production in 2015. Only 25 examples will be built, so don’t expect it to come with an affordable sticker. We’ll be back with the full details as soon as Venturi spills the beans.


Tesla Model S

2015 Tesla Model S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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While there are at least a dozen electric cars you can buy in the United States nowadays, no major automaker has currently builds a battery-powered sports car or an all-road vehicle. Tesla did some of that with the Roadster some years ago, but the Lotus-based two-seater has been on a break since 2012. Although Tesla is now focusing on sedans and crossovers, the Model S is powerful and quick enough to go against most of today’s sports cars.

The all-electric sedan is available in no less than six guises for the 2015 model year, but the P85D is by far the most impressive in terms of performance. The two electric motors deliver 691 horsepower and send the four-door flying from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds. The all-wheel-drive model also comes with a top speed of 155 mph and a range of up to 275 miles on a single charge. The only downside of the P85D is its sticker, which is set at $120,170, but an entry-level Model S can be had for $69,900 before incentives.

Detroit Electric SP:01

2016 Detroit Electric SP:01 High Resolution Exterior
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The SP:01 is the closest thing to the Venturi America as far as seating goes, but you can’t have it just yet. Although it was announced for the 2014 model year, Detroit Electric has yet to commence production of its Lotus Exige-based EV. The newly revived company still hopes to put it on the road for 2015 as one of the fastest production electric cars. Unlike Tesla, Detroit Electric focuses on lightness and promises a total curb weight of only 2,354 pounds.

The electric motor is estimated to generate 201 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, which should be enough to enable the SP:01 to charge from naught to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds before hitting a top speed of 155 mph. Detroit Electric says the SP:01 will have a range of up to 190 miles on a single charge and a sticker of around $135,000.


2015 Venturi America High Resolution Exterior
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Granted, the Venturi America is a unique appearance on the electric car market. It’s as quick as a sports car, it has the all-road capability of a small crossover. Combine that with its ability to run on nothing but electric power and the 155-mile range and the America becomes a very attractive vehicle. On the other hand, its design might not be to everyone’s taste and the lack of a four-seat layout may be a turn-off for most moms and dads. It’s likely pricing might be a problem too, but maybe the America will open the door to a more affordable and maybe roomier high-voltage buggy in the near future.

  • Leave it
    • * No seats for the kiddos
    • * Could use proper doors
    • * Likely expensive
    • * U.S. availability not yet confirmed
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