With the last Tesla Roadsters making their way towards owners
in Europe, Asia and Australia, the world of electric cars will soon be lacking a sports car figurehead.
Since 2008 the Roadster has been pivotal in changing the image of electric cars, but while Tesla Motors readies the 2012 Tesla Model S for launch, there's a distinct, electric sports car-shaped void in the market.
Fear not though - another light weight, high-performance sports car is waiting in the wings in Germany, and it's called the PG Elektrus.
You might notice its similarities to the Tesla immediately, and for good reason.
Just as the Roadster was built on the bonded aluminum platform of England's Lotus Elise sports car, so too is the Elektrus. The body looks virtually identical, save for the particularly Fisker Karma-esque grille.GT Spirit
reports (via EVworld
) that, like the Elise, the scarily-priced $367,000 Elektrus is clothed in glass-fiber-reinforced plastics. That makes it less high-tech than the carbon-fiber Tesla.
Performance certainly isn't sacrificed, bike manufacturer PG claiming a top speed of up to 300 m/h (186 mph), and a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of under three seconds. That eclipses the Tesla Roadster Sport's figures of 125 mph, and 3.7 seconds to 60 mph.
Curiously, the Elektrus also has the choice of an automatic or "stick shift" transmission. We're not sure exactly what this means, but it might suggest the use of a more traditional gearbox than the Tesla's reduction gear transmission. This could also explain the high top speed. A choice of synthesized sounds is also on offer - from either a traditional V-8 growl, or a Formula One-style shriek.
PG also claims a range of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles) which isn't dissimilar from the Tesla's official EPA 244 miles. A solar panel mounted on the back of the car should help to power accessories, just as it does in the Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius with that feature.
This isn't the first time we've seen a Tesla Roadster rival appear based on the Elise platform - back in 2010, U.K. green energy entrepreneur Dale Vince revealed the Nemesis electric sports car
That too promised Tesla-beating performance, and a range of up to 150 miles. Unfortunately, we've heard little of it since - will the PG Elektrus get any closer to production?
One thing is for sure - the Telsa Roadster may now be gone, but its spiritual successor could well be based on exactly the same platform...
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