Bob Lutz Previews New Via Motors Electric Trucks: Detroit Auto Show

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The 2013 Detroit Auto Show is fast approaching, and details of new models are bombarding us from all angles.

Among the more interesting vehicles set to hit the show floor come from Via Motors.

The Bob Lutz-backed Via Motors produces plug-in trucks, based on GM vehicle chassis. Taking inspiration from the Chevrolet Volt, all use electric propulsion to drive the vehicles along, but utilize a range-extending engine to let them go a little further when required.

The headline figure for all of VIa's vehicles is 100 mpg--that's how much the company says you'll get in typical driving, using a mix of electricity and just a dash of gasoline.

In the video above, Lutz himself introduces two of Via's most significant Detroit debutants, the X-Truck and an electric SUV.

As we revealed back in December, the X-Truck will be a true monster, producing 800 horsepower from its electric motors, and stump-pulling torque. It makes a Ford Raptor look weak, yet Via still claims over 100 mpg in mixed driving.

Joining it is an 'Escalade-class' luxury SUV. In Lutz's words, it "drives like a Volt", and returns the same 100 mpg-plus.

Neither vehicle is likely to be cheap, with Via's regular trucks expected to cost around $79,000 when they go on sale, but on specification alone they're likely to attract at least a few customers--for some, the prospect of an 800-horsepower electric truck might be hard to resist...

Head over to our Detroit Auto Show page for more news from the show.

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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Comments (10)
  1. Let me be the first to call out the 100 mpg claim as large animal excrement.

    It will not get 100 mpg, nor 100 mpge.

    It will be lucky to get 50 mpge.

  2. Well, we don't know. EPA's testing cycle is pretty "weak". So as long as you "detune" the performance enough, it is possible to do 100 MPGe.

    However, saying that 100MPGe is real world "experience" is a whole different thing...

    Tesla S has known to do well over 110 MPGe in Motortrend's test when it was driven carefully. So, I am NOT surprised that Via can "game" the EPA test enough to do 100 MPGe when "lightly" used.

  3. Twice montly, we drive our Tesla S P85 to or resort--a trip of 200 miles each way. Juice use includes radio, fuzz-buster, heating and headlights. Arriving, we always have enough charge left to go to the best restaurant 20 miles away. Plugging in overnight is ready for the trip back the next day.

  4. I got to ride in one of these in Santa Monica, and it is impressive, and a step in the right direction. Lots of power is required for a lot of jobs, and this is a vehicle that will attract more people to the ability electric drive has. For most people 100 mpge will not be a problem, since an electric motor is as efficient as the driver is. When you need to haul a trailer behind it you won't get that, but without the waste energy it is achievable easily.

  5. Via Motors still struggling for relevance, I see.

  6. The question is how many "truck" buyers would pay $40k extra for those.
    That is the price of two Silverado or two F-150.

  7. Lutz just can't stop pretending hybrids are EV's. Same marketing BS.

  8. This is great! ...except...I absolutely hate the term started by GM "extended range electric" THIS IS NOT TRUTH AT ALL. These are plug-in HYBRID vehicles. How can we kill this term? Seriously! ...(watch "Who Killed The Electric Car" to understand what I mean). (If the Volt had "extended range" then it would have more ELECTRIC range than the all-electric vehicles. ...Big oil is the only reason for range anxiety).

  9. Bob lutz, you are designing hybrids, not electric cars. Time for you to stop the false advertising. An electric car does not have a tank filled with gasoline.

  10. Ridiculous. Not the 800 HP_, that's no great trick with a battery and 4 motors. The price is ridiculous, made for the few environmentally conscious fat-cats. You typical Joe can get a truck for 20K dollars and 60 thousand dollars worht of gasoline will keep him happy and polluting for the next 10 years. Take your 20K truck, eliminate the gas-tank and exhaust system, place a double-barrel better-place battery receptacle a-la EV engineering, and start selling them for 30K dollars.

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