Venturi Volage: "Most Promising" Electric Car Ever

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It is being called the "most promising EV ever" -- the all-electric Venturi Volage. This concept car that has been around for a couple of years will soon become a reality, set to hit the road in 2012.

Writing for PluginCars.com, Laurent J. Masson made the bold statement above, and said the car is simply extraordinary:

It's so different, so unlike anything else on four wheels. I will describe it, but you have to see it to really understand it. You have to kneel down behind the car: there is nothing between the rear wheels. Every car has an axle there—and sometimes a gearbox or an engine too—but there isn't any in the Volage. This incredible feat comes thanks to the use of Active Wheels from Michelin.

The whole drivetrain and suspension system are inside the wheels, and there is no such thing as "wheel travel" with this set-up.

Engineers at the French automaker used this to give the Volage its unique look in the back.

The car performs very well, but up to a point. It was the fastest accelerating electric car at a recent event, faster even than the much-heralded Tesla Roadster. But the top speed is just 100 mph, much slower than the Roadster and most other cars.

The car is expected to be for sale in Europe sometime in 2012. No word on pricing, or whether it will eventually make its way to the United States.

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