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Concept-Dodge Circuit EV Preview

Concept-Dodge Circuit EV Preview

By Jeff Youngs, February 24, 2012

Critical Knowledge:
  • Rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger concept version of a plug-in all-electric sports car Chrysler intends to build
  • Zero tailpipe emissions and 200-mile maximum driving range before recharging from either a 110-volt or a 220-volt household appliance power outlet
  • Distinctive aerodynamic design with long, low hood and Dodge crosshair grille
  • "Tangoreen" colored exterior with EV graphics
  • Chrysler's ENVI Electric-Vehicle Engineering Group says it has designed a drivetrain that will deliver a 0-60 mph acceleration time of less than 5 seconds with a top speed of more than 120 mph
  • Leather-covered instrument panel with analog-face gauges
  • Digital display with information about electric-drive system
  • Premium leather seats with sport bolsters
  • Premium sound, electronic door locks, power windows, air conditioning, and cruise control
  • Slated for introduction in 2010
Introduction
Last fall, Chrysler LLC unveiled plans for three full electric and partial electric vehicle concepts for each of its three brands. Today, plans for its first pure electric vehicle and extended-range electric vehicles that use both gasoline engines and electric motors are turning into reality. The Dodge Circuit EV Concept sports car is one of four hybrid and/or full-electric vehicles Chrysler LLC is showing at this year's auto shows. It is the first pure electric vehicle for the Detroit-based automaker and was developed in-house and unveiled at an opportune time, considering the urgent interest in cleaner, sustainable vehicles that rely on alternative fuels. Chrysler may launch its first all-electric production model as early as 2010, according to current reports.

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Design
The Dodge Circuit EV Concept, first shown last fall in racing yellow with a black stripe, has been revised with all-new front- and rear-end design that gives it a more distinctive, sporty and muscular look. The concept is based on the Lotus Exige platform, according to Automotive News, and the body features a deep scallop for visual depth and a functional rear-brake air duct. The rear-wheel-drive sports car also features EV graphics on the sides and a new badge on the back end.




Environment
Chrysler's ENVI Group, which gets its name from the first 4 letters of "Environmental," is responsible for delivering clean, environmentally responsible, no-compromise electric vehicles, according to a statement from the company. The Dodge Circuit EV Concept uses the same powertrain components that are shared among all of Chrysler's ENVI Group projects-which also include the Jeep Patriot EV Concept, the Chrysler 200C EV Concept, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited EV and the Chrysler Town & Country EV. Chrysler's ENVI Group and its subsidiary GEM, which makes neighborhood electric vehicles for residential and retirement communities throughout the U.S., expect to produce as many as 500,000 electric vehicles by 2013. Chrysler also has a joint agreement with General Electric to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to explore advanced energy-storage technology, which will be used to help develop new systems to make electric vehicle battery packs smaller and significantly less expensive than current designs.


Hardware
According to the manufacturer, the clean and green Dodge Circuit EV Concept consumes zero gasoline, generates zero emissions, and relies on a 200-kW (268 hp) electric motor that generates 480 lb.-ft. of torque, which accelerates the vehicle to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. This acceleration speed is similar to that registered by the Hemi-powered Dodge Challenger SRT-8, according to some reports. The Dodge Circuit EV Concept has a top speed of more than 120 mph and can complete the quarter-mile run in less than 13 seconds, Chrysler states. The electric-drive motor is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery system, which takes the place of a standard 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine and transmission.


Technology
The latest advanced lithium-ion battery technology gives the Dodge Circuit EV Concept an extended driving range of 150 to 200 miles between charges, which parent firm Chrysler says is more than triple the average daily commute of most consumers. Recharging the vehicle is a simple one-step process: plugging into a standard 110-volt household outlet does the job in 8 hours. The recharge time can be cut in half by using a 220-volt household appliance power outlet. The electric performance car also recovers energy for recharging the battery pack through regenerative braking. When the Dodge Circuit EV Concept becomes reality, it promises to offer sports car aficionados a performance car that can be driven to work daily without consuming gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions.

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