Ever since we first saw the Aptera, we've been waiting for this: today, the company officially pulled the curtain back the Typ-1, the funky three-wheeler with jaw-dropping efficiency stats. After some speculation about diesel engines and parallel hybrid modes, about how the prototype would hold up in a crash, here's the real deal.
Aptera will be available in two models: all-electric and series hybrid. The electric version is slated for delivery in 2008 with the hybrid model to follow (for more on the difference between series and parallel hybrids, check out our Green Basics discussion of the topic). The all-electric model has a range of 120 miles. The plug-in series hybrid has achieved more than 300 miles per gallon with a range of more than 600 miles. Both will be available for "less than $30,000," though exact pricing hasn't been announced. So, what'll that sizable chunk of change get you?
You'll get some pretty slick features, including solar cells embedded under the roof operate an always-on climate control system, ensuring the interior never gets too hot or too cold, and a computer-controlled "Eyes Forward" vision system. By replacing the side mirrors with embedded cameras that display a 180-degree rear view in the front of the instrument panel, Eyes Forward "gives the driver complete situational awareness without taking their eyes off of the road."
Fully refundable reservation deposits of $500 are now being accepted from California residents on the Aptera website. The company will initially deliver vehicles in southern California, then in northern California and to other regions nationwide; cross your fingers that we'll actually see these on the road before buying a 2009 calendar. ::Aptera via ::Business Wire (sub req'd)
Update: Check out the video below to see Aptera in action.