How do you fancy a sleek-looking seven-seater with 635bhp that can reach 60mph from a standstill in 4.8sec, drive for 350 miles without stopping, and hit a top speed of 155mph?
These are the impressive statistics belonging to a new electric crossover car, called the ZAP-X, from American engineering firm ZAP. It's being developed with Lotus, and is closely based on Lotus' APX concept car from 2006.
Conventional electric cars are limited by a short range and lengthy recharging times, but the ZAP-X has the potential to rival the range and better the performance even of internal combustion-engined cars. Best of all, it has zero carbon dioxide emissions.
It uses a new type of battery which ZAP claims can give a car a range of 350 miles, but which can be recharged in only 10 minutes. It supplies power to the car's four electric motors - one at each wheel - which together develop 635bhp.
It's proposed that the ZAP-X will have an all-alloy construction and advanced battery management systems. It will also feature technology such as solar-cell windows that provide power to heat and cool the interior. Inside, it will have a wireless network, USB ports, high-definition video screens and a PC.
There's a catch, though - although the technology exists to build a battery that can be recharged in 10 minutes, the infrastructure to do so on a commercially viable scale doesn't. That means we won't see a production ZAP-X until at least 2010.
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