A new electric, British-built roadster is intended to show ‘the future of driver’s cars’. Revealed at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle show in Bedfordshire, the Aura concept car is funded by the government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
With two 44 kWh batteries, one front-mounted, the other under the chassis, the Aura promises a range of 400 miles on a single charge. For reference, a Tesla Model S with a 100kWh battery – the longest range EV currently on sale – can travel 412 miles between fill-ups.
Key to the Aura’s efficiency are light weight and aerodynamic design. Its body panels are made from natural composite fibres and woven fabric, described as ‘cleaner to produce and recycle than metal equivalents’.
Its slippery shape, including side air curtains, rear wheel covers, a large diffuser and low-rolling-resistance tyres, was analysed at length using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
There’s no roof, but the two-seat interior does offer vegan leather and an Android Automotive-powered HMI driver information system from Conjure. A 10-inch central touchscreen is joined by a five-inch self-levelling display within the steering wheel. This relays key information such as speed and miles-to-empty.
Bespoke software calculates real-world energy use via the sat-nav and directs the driver to the nearest charge point. It’s claimed to be accurate to within 0.5 percent of range.
The one-off concept is fully road-legal and was created in less than 12 months by a consortium of British businesses: Astheimer Design, BAMD Composites, Conjure and Potenza Technology.
No performance figures are quoted, but the Aura’s combination of lightness, instant electric torque and a low centre of gravity should translate into plenty of driving fun. At least until it starts raining…
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research