Tesla’s Model S Alpha
American electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors recently revealed photographs of their latest electric variant called the Model S Alpha. The vehicle looks production ready in comparison to its concept which was shown a couple of months ago.
The significant changes come in the form of a lower front fascia that provides a sharper and aggressive look. The angular chrome insert in the front grille is the highlight in comparison to its rounded appearance when compared to the prototype. The vents are also smaller, however, the same 10 spoke fan blade wheels have been adopted to enhance the looks. The Model S Alpha takes on a 4 door coupe design approach and has clearly been influenced by the Jaguar XF and Aston Martin Rapide. While on the inside, there is a 17-inch touch screen followed up with 3G wireless internet, navigation system and HD satellite radio. According to the company the range of the battery packs would vary from variant to variant starting from 257 kilometers going up to 482 kilometers.
Competing with rivals like the Fisker Karma along with luxury models such as the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class, the Model S Alpha would be a new beginning in the all-electric high performance car segment. The first 1,000 cars of the Model S Alpha will be a special North American Model S Signature Series that would feature a 480km battery range, unique design treatments and plenty of optional upgrades. Deliveries are expected to start by mid 2012 and the price tag will be around $57,000 (Rs.25.4 lakhs).
Suzuki plans Swift hybrid
With fuel prices sky-rocketing and the need for fuel efficient cars emerging, Maruti Suzuki has already taken steps to move on to greener pastures. With CNG and LPG variants spanning from a hatch like the WagonR, to a people mover - Eeco moving up to a sedan - the SX4. What next? Could be a Swift Hybrid!
The Swift Hybrid is powered by a 660 cc petrol engine and an electric motor, which punches out a respectable 73.5 bhp, the hybrid will be expected to return a mileage of around 38 kmpl. The electric motor gets its charge from a 2.66 kWh lithium-ion battery. So, on battery alone, it’s got a 30-odd km range.
Likely to be priced equivalent to Rs.3 lakh in Japan, we hope to see it India a couple of years hence. With the government levying stricter emission norms and fuel efficient cars, the hybrid horse will be something to bet on. All eyes on those who get there first!