The newest concept from Electric Vehicle maker Venturi, and perhaps the most technologically advanced vehicle unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, is the Volage. Even though EV’s are getting so much press these days, in many cases there is little to distinguish them from each other. That is not the case with the Volage. Beyond the attention-getting bodywork made out of carbon-fiber, the two seater Volage has cutting edge high-tech equipment to accompany its high-end price.
Specifically, the Michelin Active Wheel; a compact in-wheel electric drive motor that is installed at all four corners of the vehicle with an active suspension that is driven by a second set of motors. Two motors in each 18 inch wheel. The batteries and both of these propulsion and suspension systems can be customized and controlled to adapt to different driving styles and road surfaces via a dashboard-mounted touch screen. Not only can the driver “tune” up or down the vehicle to increase peformance or fuel efficiency, but the vehicle can shift power to one set of wheels in wet or slippery driving situations. The Volage makes use of advanced liquid-cooled lithium-polymer lithium batteries that can be charged from a household current and are said to be sufficient for 199 miles of driving at 56 mph.
That impressive driving range is accompanied by the horses produced from each of the four individual drive motors. In total, they produce a combined 295 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the Volage from zero to 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds with a top speed of nearly 160 mph. According to Venturi, the ultralight 2,360 pound Volage is targeting a limited production run in the 2012 model year at its hand-assembly plan in Monaco. Speculation is that obtaining the “ultimate electric GT” will run potential buyers around half of a million dollars. It may be significantly more expensive than other high end electric vehicles. But those that have the money to buy a Tesla, as one example, most likely have enough to plunk down for the Volage.