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What could be better than your readers being involved in a groundbreaking automotive project? That’s exactly what happened to our friend Ben at Bespoke Ventures, who had a reader named Janne thank him for a post about rear mounted radiators…then attach a few photos.
Above is the finished product, the ERA (Electric Race About) electric car from Finland. The ERA will be competing in the upcoming Progressive Auto X-Prize, too.
The car itself, according to Ben, is being developed by Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, spanning more than three years of work. And, without a doubt: this electric car is an absolute stunner.
They’ve gotten support from a variety of companies, including Valmet Automotive, also in Finland. The company not only assembles Porsche Boxster and Cayman models, but had produced a concept called the Valmet Raceabout in 2005. We think they may be related…
Back to the electric car. Here are some (impressive) preliminary specs:
- • Weight: 2,755 lbs (1,250 kg)
- • Drivetrain: AWD
- • 0-60 MPH: Less than five seconds
- • Range: More than 180 miles per charge
We wish the ERA team luck, and hope the vehicle sees series production soon. We’ve pasted a video of the car after the jump. Oh, and readers: if you have something cool in your garage, don’t be afraid to share!
[Source: Bespoke Ventures]
As the shift to environmentally-friendly vehicles continues, the aftermarket has begun to recognize this emerging market and begin catering to owners. Nowhere is this more evident than on the Toyota Prius’s home turf, Japan.
On his blog, Japanese tuning industry insider Ben Shaffer (owner of parts importer and tuning houses Bulletproof Automotive and Bespoke Ventures) is increasing awareness of this trend, while also lamenting it. Several well-known Japanese tuners have already taken to modifying both the Prius and Honda’s Insight, with both ASI and Tommy Kaira having recently released tuning packages for the former.
While a strong believer in environmentally responsible transportation, and in making those sorts of cars look cooler or even perform better, Shaffer indicates that according to his sources this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon will be half hybrids – with modified Nissan GT-Rs making up the rest of the show.
“I understand Eco is the future for the masses, but can we keep our sports cars too,” says Shaffer. “I thought the point was to have a sports car for the weekends and a Prius to daily drive. Lets keep it that way, keep the R&D coming on sports car tuning parts too please!”
Either way, it looks like hybrid tuning is here to stay and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on some of the new modification options from the Tokyo Auto Salon.
GALLERY: Tommy Kaira and ASI Tuned Priuses