Concept Cars: Envisioned as a 2 + 2 electric sports car suitable for daily use, the Istituto Europeo di Design of Turin's latest concept offers more than just a futuristic look at the exterior of electric cars. It's intended as a design study for an affordable car targeting a young, urban market, and it'll be on display at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
Labeled the EYE, the new concept on display at next monthís Geneva event will be a full-scale model of the proposed car. It was designed by eleven students in the Masters of Arts in Transportation Design at the IED, with the help of electric car company Tesla.
Dimensions measure in at 14 feet in length, 6 feet in width, 4.5 feet in height and a wheelbase of 8.7 feet, making it similar in size to C-segment vehicles like the new Ford Focus and Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
The EYE is intended to carry a Tesla-type drivetrain, though its ambitious market appeal and mass-market intentions don't align well with a powertrain that's in what amounts to a handful of production road cars.
Nevertheless, it has been conceived not to have to fear the competition of its gasoline rivals: its strengths are its stylish exterior surfaces and flexible body. The positioning of the batteries under the back seat allows for optimal interior space, while a removable roof system allows the vehicle to be transformed from a four-seater C-segment vehicle into a semi-open roadster.
The EYE was also built in cooperation with Pirelli and OZ Racing, high-performance tire and wheel-makers, respectively, hinting that it, though purely a design study at this point, is built with an eye toward actual sporting capability.
By Nelson Ireson