April 24, 2008 If Caterham Seven-style open-wheelers are last century's pinnacle of pure performance machines, it seems the concept will survive the transition to the electric age. Evisol's ThoRR takes its body shape inspiration from a Lotus Super 7, and adds a 272hp Siemens electric motor with a Lithium Polymer battery pack. Quick, light, accurate and nearly silent apart from road noise, ThoRR fits the Caterham model of a driver's car - there's no power assisted steering or brakes, no ABS, gearbox or even a windshield, so you're in complete control and you feel completely connected to the road through your machine. A range of 140km if you're doing more than 100kmh limits ThoRR to being a Sunday afternoon thrasher, but new tech batteries like those in the Lightning GT will fix that in due time.
ThoRR isn't the most advanced electric car we've seen, but it's without doubt the least complicated. Like the old-school super-quick kit car racers that inspired it, the emphasis is on the pure act of driving. Two hands, a steering wheel and a set of wheels you can watch as they turn. Big power with light weight, a responsive throttle and suspension that glues the car to the road, with comfort being very secondary.
There's no mention of top speed on the ThoRR website, but under New Eurpoean Driving Cycle test conditions, the battery was good for 200km - not that cars like these are any good for popping down to the shops in. ThoRR was born to run, which makes its 140km range at a constant 120kmh a bit of an issue. The batteries are Lithium-Polymer cells with a total capacity of 29kWh and a total weight of 280kg - more than a third of the vehicle's total 755kg weight.
A YouTube video shows the car's virtually silent operation, as well as a hint of the sort of appetite it has for corners. No word on pricing - we'll take that to mean "it costs a lot" - but it's nice to see electric vehicles emerging in the motor enthusiast market.