Chrysler ENVI president, Lou Rhodes, believes a good product can save Chrysler. By the looks of these drag races (middle of the page) in Pasadena, he might be right. After committing to having 100 EV and range-extended vehicles on the road for testing by next year, Rhodes got behind the wheel of a 268-horsepower electric Lotus Europa wearing the Dodge EV badge. To his left, sat the granddaddy of the Dodge Challenger line, the 425-horsepower SRT8.
Apparently surprised by the instantaneous torque available to the EV, the Challenger driver lost the first run handily. The second race was closer although the Challenger driver obviously stepped off the gas before the finish line. Does anyone need more proof that zero-emissions driving can be fast and fun? Not to mention that you'll never have to stop for gas again (which is much better than enduring the 14 city / 22 highway mpg rating of an SRT8).
Chrysler's ENVI program showcases some compelling concepts. Range-extended versions of the Chrysler Town and Country and Jeep Wrangler round out the eco-friendly trio. These models rely on gas generators to power electric motors and to charge onboard lithium ion batteries. The traditional Town and Country already has a strong following in the minivan market and the gas powered Wrangler is a legend among off-road enthusiasts. Having EV versions of these cars certainly won't hurt Chrysler's tenuous future.
Check out the video below: