The three-wheeled Aptera 3 EV looks like it’s launched 30 years too early

We often see odd designs on EVs, sometimes because they do not require the same cooling considerations as a normal internal combustion engined car, but other times just because the designers think they look cool (ahem, Tesla Cybertruck, anyone?). But nothing has prepared us for the oddity that is the Aptera 3.

Shaped like a teardrop, the Aptera 3 is designed for just one single purpose in mind – to reduce drag as much as possible. While it almost looks like the company took an Eco Marathon prototype and made it into reality, the actual tangible results of the design is quite incredible – Aptera claims that the car can do up to 1,600 km from a single charge.

The Aptera 3 boasts a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.13 which is pretty much unheard of in a production vehicle. As a result, it’s able to slice through the air, sipping just 100 watt-hours of energy per mile (1.6 km).

To further increase the range, the unique EV is also built using a special composite material to keep the weight down. On the flagship variant, the Aptera 3 weighs less than 1,000 kg all in!

Aptera also says that the Formula 1-inspired safety cell chassis design is also supposedly safer than almost any car on the road today. The simpler construction of just four parts (instead of over 300 in a standard car) also helps the company build the cars faster – and ultimately lower the price.

As standard, the Aptera 3 is fitted with a 100 kWh battery pack – hence the 1,000-mile range. There are also solar panels on the roof, which is capable of adding 64 km of when parked under the sun for a day. Aptera says that for most of the daily-driving crowd, you won’t even need to plug in your Aptera 3 EV to charge.

Other variants are also available, with different battery sizes capable of offering 250 miles (402 km), 400 miles (644 km) and 600 miles (966 km) of range. No horsepower or torque figures have been announced, but customers can specify the Aptera 3 in either a front-wheel drive configuration, which does 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds, or a three-wheel drive flagship variant which does the century sprint in 3.5 seconds.

The Aptera 3 is now available for booking in the US with a refundable deposit of USD100 (RM407). Prices kick off at USD25,900 (RM105k) for the base model, shooting up to over USD46,900 (RM191k) with all the bells and whistles checked. But the real question is – would you drive this in 2020, or is it a car more suitable for a sci-fi future?



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