After years of work Aptera Motors is finally ready to accept pre-orders for their unique 3-wheeled hybrid. The Aptera, as it is aptly called, is an electric-hybrid that is said to achieve up to 300-mpg due to its lightweight construction and electric propulsion. The one-cylinder engine housed within the car is used solely for recharging the batteries. The Cesna/teardrop design is intended to reduce the drag on the car thus aiding it in reaching 60-mph in 11 seconds. The top speed of the Aptera is 95-mph. So the question is: while the Aptera is nearly ready for you, are you ready for an Aptera?
Â Let’s start out with what seems to be the majority concern of the Aptera: safety. The Aptera is built within a composite safety shell that is said to be energy absorbing and impact deflecting.Â Although itÂ does not have to go through the usual regulatory safety tests since it is technically labeled as a motorcycle by its 3-wheel base,Â they did seek toÂ maintain a focus onÂ safety in the design of the Aptera. And it does come equipped with driver and passenger airbags to add to the safety features. While those safety features may not satisfy all car shoppers they do make this what may be the worlds safest motorcycle.
The cockpit of the Aptera has room for two with some storage space for luggage behind the seats. The doors and front glass give the driver and passenger a full 180-degree view forward while cameras in the rear provide an equally wide view through the rear. The rear cameras are projected on 3 screens just behind the steering wheel allowing the driver to maintain a forward focus at all times.
The cabin of the Aptera is cooled by a solar assisted A/C unit that is operable at all times of the day. Even when the car is not in motion the solar powered unit will run to maintain a comfortable temperature within the cabin. When the Aptera is in use the power from the batteries (particularly at night) will operate the climate control system.
Included in the amenities package of the Aptera is anÂ “Advanced drive computer with GPS navigation, CD/MP3/DVD player, XM satellite radio, Large View Rear Camera, and complete vehicle diagnostic system.” Thus making this possibly the most entertaining and informative motorcycle in production. It also comes standard with an RFID keyless entry system that allows you to enter and start the car with the keys still in your pocket. And in order to conserve battery use all lights inside and out are LED.
To reserve your place in line for an Aptera you merely have to make a deposit of $500. However, there are still choices to be made, including color and propulsion type. You have two versions to choose from: diesel hybrid or all electric (EV). The EV version will get you 120 miles between charges and will easily plug into any 110 volt power outlet like those found in your home. The price of the EV version is $26,900. The hybrid version comes with the one-cylinder, diesel engine that is used to assist in charging the batteries. In the hybrid version you can expect on the high side of its range to achieve 300 mpg at the asking price of $29,900.
Of all the hybrid and EV cars we have seen so far the Aptera is the lightest, achieves the highest fuel rating, and the most unique of them all. However, does that make it a winner? For many its uniqueness may be its downfall, while others would be happy to drive an auto that stood out so well. Like many Prius owners who are reported to drive the car because of the eco-friendly statement the car says about them, the Aptera may just carry the same appeal.
You can learn more about the Aptera by visiting their website… but not much more. The details and performance charts for the car are said to be coming in the near future. For those on the pre-order list your $500 also affords you a patient 12-month wait… but for many that will be considered money well spent.
Let us know what you think. Is the world ready for the Aptera? Could this be the commuter car you have beenÂ waiting for?