This is incredible. How could I have been in the dark for so long? This is definitely love at first sight. Introducing the Aptera “Typ-1,” which has quietly taken shape in, once again, you guessed it, sunny California!
Up until late 2005, physicist Steve Fambro was working full time as an electrical engineer for a San Diego biotech company, but meanwhile in his garage a prototype was taking shape. Apparently Fambro, who has been an accomplished auto mechanic most of his life, couldn’t find a “kit car” that was sufficiently smart, clean and green. So he decided to build his own. And now, barely two years after quitting his job to work on his vision full time, the Aptera has been launched.
The Aptera “Typ-1″ Prototype.
If this isn’t the most beautiful example of next generation aerodynamics ever seen on a vehicle, show me something better. The car looks like a porpoise with two front wheels. It looks like a spaceship. It looks like a road grabbing futuristic racer in some science fiction movie. It has a drag coeficient of .11 – compare that to .26 for the Toyota Prius, one of the most aerodynamically advanced production cars ever built.
Everything about this car is smart. It has an always-on climate control system, super efficient and powered by solar energy. It has advanced sandwich composite materials in the body and an aluminum and steel frame and crash cage to make this one of the safest vehicles on the road. It only weighs 850 pounds, seats two, has an electronically-limited top speed of 95 mph, and can get 230 mpg.
The Aptera has a 12 horsepower diesel combined in a classic hybrid design with a 19 kW electric motor. They plan to sell this version for $29,000 beginning in 2009. An all electric version with a 120 mile range is also planned, selling for $26,000. Aptera plans to get the price under $20,000 eventually.
We’re still trying to find out more about the Aptera Typ-1. Where are they getting the batteries, how many kWh do the battery packs store in the all-electric (120 mile range) and the hybrid versions? How much do they weigh? How many prototypes are completed? Is crash testing underway with validation prototypes? Incubated by the prestigious IdeaLab, will Aptera Motors need more funding between now and 2009? Our questions are endless, our excitement immense.
All of this will eventually be known, but for now, enjoy yet another vision of the imminent automotive revolution, the most transformative yet – as cars become smart, clean and green.