• May 23rd 2008 at 2:35PM
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Thanks to a tip from a reader, we've been introduced to a new electric sports car maker based in Cincinnati, Ohio: Advanced Mechanical Products. AMP has taken a major shortcut to offering its first electric vehicle by starting with a gas-powered Saturn Sky as the base. Out goes the GM Ecotec four-banger, in goes an electric motor and lithium phosphate batteries. According to the manufacturer, the electric car will accelerate to sixty miles per hour in less than six seconds and have a top speed of around ninety miles per hour. A full charge will give a range of up to one-hundred-fifty miles. The company is currently accepting orders for the first batch of three-hundred cars, which will cost around $50,000 each.

For those who want an electric car conversion but can't make do with a two-seat sportscar platform, AMP says that its next two projects will center around a Saturn SUV and a Saturn sedan. Sounds like they have an affinity for the Saturn brand, huh? We look forward to finding out more information about AMP and its new vehicle, and you can be sure that we'll keep you informed with whatever information we get.

[Source: AMP, thanks for the tip, Bryan!]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The way things are going, I guarantee that within the next two years there will be dozens of EV-conversion companies popping up. They'll convert everything from Escalades to Corollas.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice, but a Miata weighs rather less so performance wise that might make a better base car. Mayvbe a refurbished older Miata is the way to go? Or what about an older MGB with a blown engine?;)
      • 7 Years Ago
      3. Yeah, what do they do with all those 4-bangers? Sell 'em back to GM?
      13. There are lots of optimizations for electric drive that they conversions can't have. Everything from suspension to drive train to internal electronics. Oh, well, it only costs half as much.
      • 7 Years Ago
      yeah but IAN the Ghost of Lucas will come back and cause the EV MGB to have an thermal incident. ;-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      The trouble with gliders (er.. the trouble with getting them) is that the major manufacturers are set up to do serial production of 10's of thousands of units, every one exactly the same.

      It's counter-intuitive, but the cost savings of not putting in the drive train may not cancel out the costs incurred by disrupting the production line for a few dozen or a few hundred special cases. Then there's the whole legal liability thing when you set your car on fire. GM doesn't want to be liable for poor engineering by AMP, and selling them gliders is sort-of an endorsement.

      Part of the problem is that putting the drive train is is not necessarily either a) one coherent set of operations or b) the last thing to happen. As a result, to make a glider a particular chassis would have to be taken out of the line in one place, put back in in another, taken out again somewhere else... it gets pretty complicated pretty fast.

      Solectria tried to get gliders to make the Force, but were unable. ACPropulsion tried to get gliders to make the eBox, but were unable. I'm sure these guys tried too.

      Anybody want to buy a brand new Saturn motor?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I too agree that there will be many of these "converter" companies coming on line as long as the material is available and they can turn a profit. Actually sounds like a pretty exciting business. I hope it's not a sham ( collect the money and run ).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Excellent, I love it!

      Less expensive than a Tesla, now quite as fast, but likely more practical. I think this could be a winner. Right now there is a 7 year old electric RAV4 on Ebay with a bid of $55,100, so there should be a market for this ride selling brand new at $50,000.

      scott, yes, I think in the industry they call it a glider, and I hope AMP can start buying those direct from Saturn, and knock a few thousand off the price.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @3: EVERY GM car my father, grandfather, stepfather, me, my brothers, oh hell.. my entire family has EVER bought from GM were made to order. Having also worked in a GM truck factory for 2 years while going to college, none of the vehicles coming down the line were identical, except the ones order by the military. My Dad, grandfather and stepfather also worked in GM assembly plants for over 130 yrs combined. It is done all the time. In fact cars orders by employees often have "Employee Vehicle" signs on the front as they went down the line. Same with a lot of other manufacturers. Now to say that type of build process may contribute negatively to quality and other issues at GM, is a strong maybe, but that is a different story. BTW, I've also done it with Saab & Mini.

      I would guess a more likely reason is AMP would have to finance and store all those "gliders" until they finished assembly and were sold.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There are a number of companies all over the place. There is one in SW side of Chicago, they did a MG, BMW M3 and Porsche Boxster among others. The cost is also listed on the site. www.pioneerconversions.com I might be their future customer :) Thinking about converting BMW Z3 or Z4.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Much more practical and cost effective than a tesla roadster. Makes you feel like the car us a car and actually has some luxury style & class to it rather than just straight performance
      • 7 Years Ago
      I read on the website that GM is guaranteeing all factory parts that AMP does not remove, so suspension and all that is covered. Maybe AMP will have some type of warentee on the car, thats probably why they want to keep service local.

      But all and all i think this car is awesome. On my drive to work i saw gas was $3.89; and i know its not done climbing. I think it comes out to about 3 or 4 cents a mile when you factor in the cost of electricity it takes to fully charge it for four hours. It's certainly got some impressive specs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM and major companies do gliders for only a few dozen orders. Most cars today the Drive train is the last thing to go in. The lift up the front subframe. Engine tranny, and entire front suspension as one part and slide it in the car from the bottom.

      Also every car bought is a custom job in the US and europe. The dealers are the ones who pick out what options they have based upon prior sales.

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