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The Aptera Typ-1, registered as a motorcycle, is an inspiration. A three-wheeled two-seater with some space in the back, to look at it alone opens the floodgates on a deluge of Sci Fi imagery.
by Ross Bonander, Contributing Writer
The Manufacturer Says...
We are a small company with a big mission - to make the most fuel-efficient vehicle the world has ever seen, and to make it stylish, incredibly safe, and fun to drive.
The Critics Say...
The Aptera Typ-1 might look like something straight out of George Jetson's garage, but it's a real car. And it's a real look at our possible future when it comes to emissions-free transportation.”Popularmechanics.com
The Aptera Typ-1 is a funky, aerodynamic, streamlined 3 wheeled gas-electric vehicle that would look right at home in the year 2050.Driverslife.com
What We Like
The cockpit. The Aptera Typ-1 is sleek and uncluttered. Three small screens give the driver a 180 degree view of the sides and rear of the vehicle.
The body. From the back end, the Aptera Typ-1 looks like a flying saucer. With the gullwing doors open it looks like an amusement park ride in the shape of a mutant insect. Squint a little to knock out the wheels, and you see a land cruiser from Star Wars.
The efficiency. Between 3 and 6 hours using any standard 110-volt outlet to charge its 10-kilowatt lithium ion battery pack gets you a range of 120 miles, but include a full tank of fuel in the hybrid version's gas engine? The range soars to about 600 miles.
The price. The Aptera Typ-1 is priced at under $30,000. It may initially seem steep, but keep in mind that you're getting about 300 miles to the gallon. That's not a typo.
The airbag. The Aptera Typ-1 has an airbag that is hidden in the lap belt portion of the seat belt, deploying upwards and away from the occupant.
What We Don't Like
We'll think of something...
Aptera Typ-1 Specifications
Propulsion system: 3 phase motor and water-cooled EFI gasoline engine with closed loop oxygen feedback and catalytic converter.
Top Speed: 85 mph
Zero-to-60: 10 seconds
MPG: 300 mpg
Vehicle range: miles on battery; add gas engine, 600 miles.
Fuel(s): Electricity & gasoline
Battery system: 10-kilowatt lithium ion battery pack (Recharge 2-6 hours)
Tailpipe emissions: Yes
The odds strongly suggest that the Aptera will join Tucker and Empire and the thousands of other defunct vehicle makers in history's graveyard”it's nothing personal, plenty of brilliant cars rest there. Yet should this be its fate, we feel it would be more tragic than most: In trying to envision a future without the use of fossil fuels, it may be necessary for us to redefine the very art of basic transportation. This could mean abandoning standards like the coupe or the sedan. In this respect, the Aptera is full of daring unafraid of looking odd, out-of-place, even ridiculous to some eyes in an attempt to look into the future, in a way only visionaries can.
Production of the Aptera Typ-1 is currently scheduled to begin in October of 2008. Our fingers are crossed for this one.
More information on the Aptera Typ-1 at:
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