Hemi who? Dodge’s new electric sportscar concept swaps petrol for plug-in power

Posted by: Trevor Miles onSeptember 24th, 2008

Dodge, and its parent company Chrysler, have always been thoroughly old-school. Their performance cars are loud, brash, and almost always have a big, brutal party piece under the bonnet. It’s a recipe that has brought them successes like the Viper, 300C and their entire SRT division. What then, you might be asking, is this sprightly yellow Lotus doing with a Dodge badge and a motor that runs on electrons instead of octane?  For us, it’s the new eV concept sportscar. For Chrysler, it’s a whole new way of thinking.

Cylinders? What cylinders? - The Dodge eV Concept

As part of Chrysler’s ENVI program, the Dodge eV is the sportiest of the three electric-only models exhibited by the carmaker, along with plugin versions of their minivan and Jeep platforms, dubbed the Chrysler eV and Jeep eV respectively. It’s a brave step forward for the carmaker, who describes the vehicles as “near-production” and claims an all-electric Chrysler will be available for eco-minded buyers as early as 2010.

However, this announcement isn’t just for people interested in hypermiling and capacitors – this is a sports car, and it’s designed to perform like one. The electric powerplant pushes out 268 horsepower to the rear wheels and like all electric motors develops mind-boggling torque figures – try an instantaneous 480lb-ft on for size. Strap yourself into the two-seater and you’ll be able to wing yourself from a standstill to 60 MPH in under five seconds. For comparison, a Jaguar XF-S needs 8 cylinders and a supercharger to accomplish that same feat. Keeping practicality in mind, Chrysler claims a usable range of 150 to 200 miles on a single charge, far more than your average city commute.

Lithium Ion Battery Pack Provides 200 Mile Range

This tightly-wound Dodge is no slouch, and presents a first in automotive history; it’s the first time a major manufacturer has taken the plunge and committed to building an all-electric sports car. (Tesla, while a pioneer in the field, is still niche competitor at best.) Will Dodge’s efforts sway their gasoline-loving fans into buying one? Their commitment to production certainly seems to indicate they’re confident.

One last surprise lurks in the Dodge eV concept: the Lotus body is just a test mule for proving the electric powerplant. The final form of the car still remains a mystery; could we see the return of the Dodge Demon concept unveiled last year? Only time will tell.

Discuss the Dodge eV Concept on the forums

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  1. Cameron Martel says:

    I honestly hope that consumers embrance these vehicles- methods to generate electricity can be significantly improved with renewables and emerging technology, and there’s far more fuel for that type of power anyway.

    As far as I’m concerned, the sooner we move away from Oil and Gas to power our vehicles, the better.

  2. Find Cars says:

    I would highly agree with Cameron on this point.

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