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Detroit show: Dodge re-charges sports EV

Green and mean: The Dodge Circuit blends Chrysler EV technology into a Lotus Europa body.

Circuit concept tweaked as Dodge pushes green credentials

12 Jan 2009

DODGE re-emphasised its electric future when it presented a new-look Circuit EV at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The struggling US car-maker had already put forward a similar version of the same car at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November.

That car had the same advanced battery and motor technology, housed in a Lotus Europa body. This time around, Dodge has given the green concept car some unique styling cues which show what the vehicle would look like if it goes into production.

It is still heavily based on the Europa, but designers have given the two-seater sportscar a light massage including the bold cross-hair grille that makes the vehicle look much more like a Dodge.

41 center imageOther visual changes are limited to a bodykit, a bright orange paint scheme featuring EV on each side and some visual tweaks on the inside.

While it may not be all that different to the last concept car, the Circuit’s presence in Detroit is important as it shows Chrysler, including the Dodge sub-brand, is serious about electric-only technology.

The company has stated that it plans to have a production version of an all-electric car next year and three electric models on sale by 2013.

The Circuit features the Chrysler in-house ENVI drivetrain, which is made up of a 200kW electric motor fed by an advanced lithium-ion battery.

Benefiting from the super-light Lotus Europa body and the donor vehicle’s extensive range of aluminium components, the Circuit is able to dash from 0-100km/h in shade less than five seconds and has a top speed of more than 193km/h. There are no tailpipe emissions, but the Circuit will need to be recharged after around 240-320km, depending on how it is driven.

Chrysler design vice president Ralph Gilles said the Circuit was a no-compromise green sportscar.

“The Dodge Circuit EV offers an extremely fun-to-drive, expressive sportscar without fuel consumption and with virtually no impact on the environment,” he said.

Read more:

LA show: Chrysler electrifies

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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