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One of the most respected names in the automotive business is Gordan Murray. Not only was he the designer behind some of the best Formula 1 race cars back in the 1980′s, he was also the mastermind behind the McLaren F1 road car, which is still widely respected as the best supercar ever made.
Having recently worked on such projects as the Caparo T1 and his own Gordon Murray Design T.25 city car, he has now pulled the wraps off his latest creation, the T.32.
Also known as the Teewave AR.1, the project was green-lighted by carbon-fiber specialists Toray Industries Inc. Toray wants to get into the business of making their own car, rather than just supplying panels for other manufacturers.
So Toray employed the services of Gordon Murray to design and develop their new car, which uses the running gear out of the Mitsubishi iMiEV. This 63-hp electric motor can propel this 1,874 lb. sportscar from 0-62 mph in 11.4 seconds, and onto a top speed of 91 mph.
However, the AR.1 is designed to be more of an urban sportscar, and thus its 0-31 mph acceleration time of 4.4 seconds will ensure it can easily keep pace with other traffic.
As with all electric vehicles, most people are more interested in charging times and range. The Teewave AR.1 will take six-hours to fully charge and can travel 116-miles before needing recharging.
Murray reveals that it took just nine months from concept discussion to running prototype. No dates have been given as to when this vehicle will go on sale, in which markets or how much it will cost.
Mitsubishi is testing a fleet of iMiEV electric cars in California and one of the chosen drivers is Southern California Public Radio KPCC’s Shirley Jahad – who’s diary entries do not paint a glowing portrait of the tiny EV. Jahad’s latest entry in her “EV Diaries,” series includes a day spent behind the wheel on the streets and freeways of Southern California with three charges and a tow truck, needed to get her back home.
Rated at roughly 100 miles on a full charge, Jahad logged two charging cycles throughout the day before stopping at a gas sation at 10 o’clock at night to recharge yet again – fearing the remaining batter power (projected to be good for 12 miles) wouldn’t last the rest of the 14 mile trim home. So after an hour long charge Jahad felt confident, only to have the battery expire on an off-ramp, necessitating a call to AAA.
Jahad’s experience is a lesson for all folks looking at purchasing an electric car and its also an important reminder that, like with gasoline engines, the projected “mpg” isn’t always as advertised. Still, the electric car push seems to be moving ahead with cars like the iMiEV, as well as the Golf blue-emotion, electric Focus and Nissan Leaf – which features an innovative GPS screen that shows the distance you can drive on the current batter power.
This story isn’t the first “range anxiety” tale to make headlines either, with reports over the winter about a Consumer Reports test driver who discovered the drastically reduced range of the MINI E when the temperature dropped.
Mitsubishi has already announced plans to bring its electric mini-car, the iMiEV, to North America, but now the Japanese automaker is considering a gasoline version as well. The iMiEV is expected to arrive in the next two years and is now likely to be joined by a gasoline version, allowing dealers to benefit from higher volume sales.
In Europe the gasoline i gets a turbocharged 660cc engine, but that is likely to be tossed in favor of the same 1.0-liter three-cylinder found in what will be the car’s main competitor, the Smart fortwo, said Mitsubishi North America VP John Koenig. The decision to do so is an easy one as the Smart’s engine is already supplied by Mitsubishi.
Koenig also said that in order to make a business case for the gas-powered i, Mitsu would have to sell roughly 1,000 a month. That seems doable as Smart sold 20,000 units so far in 2009 and the i would likely be both more affordable and more functional, with four seats rather than two.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]