Originally posted 2 Jan 2007:
Here's a very kewl prototype, that seems like it could actually be built.
This hybrid Mini Cooper has about a 200-250 mile all-electric range, about 930 mile total range, and operates at about 80mpg in the hybrid mode.
Oh, and it has about 640 horsepower -- each wheel has it's own 160HP motor(!!!), and does 0-60 in about 4 seconds. It has four wheel drive (natch), with traction control, and has all the normal interior space.
I think they are sorta' showing off, and trying to change people's image of what an electric car is. Imagine how efficient it would be with ~40HP electric motors in each wheel hub; instead of the 160HP models they used? It would still be very fast, I'm sure, and the range and mileage would improve from their already impressive levels... They could also use a small diesel motor and gain even more efficiency (does this remind you of a train?).