Thanks to its elegant creations, Zagato earned a strong reputation in the world of luxury and sports cars, and today is one of the world’s most appreciated designers. The Italian designer teamed up with Romano Artioli - another famous designer known as the creator of Bugatti EB110 and the Lotus Elise - to develop a new vehicle.

However, their latest creation it’s not a sports car and not even a luxury one. The new model bears the name Zagato Volpe and it’s an ultra compact city vehicle powered by electricity. In Italian Volpe means “fox", but the name it’s also an acronym that stands for Veicoli Originali Leggeri Privi di Emissioni ("original light zero-emission vehicle").

The new Zagato Volpe will be launched on the market in 2013 with a starting price of $9000. At launch, the vehicle will be offered in two versions. The first will run solely on electric power, while the second will feature a combustion engine used only to recharge the electric batteries and not to drive the wheels directly.

Exterior

2013 Zagato Volpe High Resolution Exterior
- image 478329

As its purpose in life it’s to deal with congested traffic situations and finding impossible parking spaces, the Zagato Volpe needed to be as compact as possible. Hence, the company tried to shrink its exterior dimensions at maximum, the Zagato Volpe being left with a maximum length of only 2.2 meter and a 1 meter width. As you can see in the photos, the narrow and short dimensions are combined with a pretty tall height rated at 1.42 meters.

These proportions give the Zagato Volpe a pretty odd stance that is usually translated into a pronounced body roll effect. However, to minimize this effect Zagato planted the heavy battery pack (98 kg) under the vehicle’s floor, while the rest of the electric components are also placed pretty low to the ground.

Zagato’s experience in the field of sports cars made it an expert in aerodynamics, so the Volpe’s body was especially designed to slip easy through the air.

The Zagato Volpe’s exterior design it’s pretty modern looking too, with the front end being dominated by a set of muscular fenders and a pair of huge headlamps placed under the windscreen. The aerodynamic lines found at the front are also carried over along the sides and giving the body a low drag coefficient. Additionally, the Volpe’s tail is abruptly cut off, further enhancing the aerodynamics.

Interior

2013 Zagato Volpe Interior
- image 478333

The Zagato Volpe is fitted with scissor doors, which apart from looking cool they also offer easy access inside even when you have to deal with tight parking lots.

The cabin is pretty rudimentary and small, but despite its limited space it can accommodate two adults, with the passenger’s seat mounted behind of the driver.

The driving position is pretty high and the seat adjustments are too limited to help you find a comfortable setting. Unfortunately, the rear passenger’s position is even stranger, as it needs to stay with the back of the driver’s seat between its legs. Moreover, the passenger sits significantly higher than the driver so head room is drastically limited. Not to mention the fact that the rear seat is placed directly on top of the axle, so the passenger will feel every bump of the road.

Up front, the driver is greeted by a small steering wheel which pops out from a basic dashboard. A motorcycle-inspired instrument panel is mounted right in front of the driver and displays all the usual stats including speed and various indicators for the electric motor and the batteries.

Engines and performance

2013 Zagato Volpe Drivetrain
- image 478339

The Zagato Volpe will be offered in two versions. The first will be powered solely by an electric motor, while the second will combine the electric motor with a combustion engine.

The first version uses an electric motor which delivers a maximum output of only 5.5 hp. This version destined to be used only in the city, as its maximum speed is limited to 48 kmph, while the range is simi similarly unimpressive being rated at 70 km.

The second version is equipped with both an electric motor and a gas powered engine delivering a maximum speed of 11 hp. The hybrid can run up to 380 km on electric power without refueling, as the combustion engine is used to recharge the battery pack and it’s not involved directly in the vehicle’s propulsion.

There will be also a stronger hybrid on offer, powered by 16.3 hp and able to reach a maximum speed of 105 kmph.

Verdict

2013 Zagato Volpe Exterior
- image 478334

We understand that we are living hard times, as the price of fuel is continuously rising, city driving is becoming a bad joke and parking spaces are rarer than diamonds, but this doesn’t mean that we need to develop vehicles that are way too uncomfortable to drive and come with cramped cabins and nearly zero storage spaces.

Don’t get us wrong, we appreciate the efforts made by companies like Zagato who want to make the roads less congested and the future sound greener, but there should be a limit to all of these so called “innovations”. And we consider that sacrificing a car’s interior space so much, that it starts to be as comfortable (or better said as uncomfortable) as the back seat of a motorbike, it’s not the smartest solution.

The Zagato Volpe will be offered in two versions. The first will be powered solely by an electric motor, while the second will combine the electric motor with a combustion engine.

The first version uses an electric motor which delivers a maximum output of only 5.5 hp. This version destined to be used only in the city, as its maximum speed is limited to 48 kmph, while the range is simi similarly unimpressive being rated at 70 km.

The second version is equipped with both an electric motor and a gas powered engine delivering a maximum speed of 11 hp. The hybrid can run up to 380 km on electric power without refueling, as the combustion engine is used to recharge the battery pack and it’s not involved directly in the vehicle’s propulsion.

There will be also a stronger hybrid on offer, powered by 16.3 hp and able to reach a maximum speed of 105 kmph.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: