Everyone knows the Tesla Roadster as the “American” electric supercar. Except it’s not American, it’s a Lotus Elise with electric parts in it. Tesla imports the Elise “sleds” to California, puts in some laptop batteries and a tightly-wound electric motor and sells the cars for more than my house is worth.
Well, it appears that if you’re a European car maker, you are required by some unwritten code to have an electric supercar concept in the works. Audi has the E-Tron, which will see limited production soon. That beast does 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and will cost a measly $160,000USD and change. Unless a whole lot of you start suddenly getting interested in clicking on my advertisements here, I highly doubt anyone will see an E-Tron in my driveway.
Well, Audi’s German competition at Mercedes has decided to jump in the game. They’ve got a prototype called the SLS AMG E-Cell that they’re banking on in the supercar wars. The concept is officially from Mercedes-AMG, which is the high(er) dollar moniker attached to Mercedes. They’re sort of like the Eddie Bauer edition of Germany. They even have a fondness for green paint. This car does 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds. That leaves Tesla and Audi in the dust. Plus, unlike either of the other two supercars we’ve mentioned, the (prototype, I’m sure it will change) SLS AMG E-Cell has gullwing doors. That means it has one of two pre-requisites for any true racing machine. The SLS AMG E-Cell will become available in 2013 and will sell for a measly $307,000.
But the Germans can’t have it all. So French-based Renault had to jump in with their own. This one doesn’t just include gullwing doors… it includes opposing gullwing doors!
No prototype is complete without those magic gullwings that disappear at production..
The Renault supercar is the DeZir, a part of their Zero Emissions (ZE) line. Since this car is French, I’m guessing that “DeZir” is a French term. Roughly translated, it probably means “cherry red with lovely lipstick collars” or something. This car does 0-50km/h in only 2 seconds. That is impressive, but it blows its wad at that point, since the 0-100km/h (0-62mph) is in 5 seconds. Even the Tesla Roadster beats that. And it’s half American. Oh well, this one’s French, so it’s not about speed, it’s about snooty styling. All rendered in magnificence, since Renault won’t be showing the actual car until the Paris Motor Show – known in the biz as the Escargot and Insults Event.
So the only manufacturer missing from this lineup of European supercars that’re all electric is.. Lamborghini. The Italians, however, have made it clear that they don’t plan to make anything EV (an American ripoff does, tho). VW-Porsche, Citroen, etc. don’t do supercars, so they’re out.
I’m dubbing this EV supercar competition in Europe the EV Supercar War. With the Germans on two fronts, it’s kind of like WWII all over again. Only without tanks and bombs. At least not yet. Those sneaky Italians could drop one at any time.