How exactly do you publicize the launch of a new electric minicar? If you’re Italian coachbuilder Zagato, you charge it up and drive it to a nearby television studio, then drive it right through the doors and in front of the cameras.
The new Volpe, an extended range electric minicar, is just a shade over 7 feet long, and only 3.3 feet wide. It can travel 43.5 miles on electric power, but an available range extender engine that runs on natural gas or petroleum and provides an additional 193 miles of range. Its party piece (of which there are two): butterfly doors that open vertically, which makes parking easier. In full Smart ForTwo fashion, it is possible to perpendicular park the car at the curb.
The car will be available in four variants, a fully electric (Globo) and three extended-range (Goal, Graffio and Guru). The latter are equipped with "bi-fuel" engine that can burn gasoline and methane, and serves solely as an engine generator to produce electricity when the battery gets low.
All four variants come standard-equipped 15-inch wheels, tires 135/70 front and 155/60 from the rear, disc brakes on all four wheels and audio system, while the options list are power windows, air conditioning and navigation system, central locking with remote control, ABS, ESP and solar cells are mounted on the roof.
All versions come with a standard lead batteries, which charge in six hours, while lithium-ion batteries are on the list of options.
Although this variation of the Zagato Volpe appears to be new, the Volpe itself isn’t a brand-new in partnership with former Bugatti owner Romano Artioli, Zagato has shown concepts for the ultra-small car since 2005, but the design has apparently evolved to the point of mass production.
The miniature motor is road legal as a 'quadricycle', meaning people as young as 16 can drive it with a motorcycle licence. It will be launched across Europe in early 2013.
Super_leptir Globo (fully electric)