• Nov 8th 2008 at 8:03PM
  • 14
The often-maligned three-wheeled Zap Xebra is getting some upgrades, after shipping a record number of vehicles last quarter, that could make it a much better vehicle overall. We don't think that anything has been changed that would potentially give the Xebra more range or more power, but an all-steel body definitely is an improvement over the old model's fiberglass unit. Another big change is the addition of a hatchback at the rear of the vehicle, which will make loading objects into the vehicle quite a bit easier. To go along with the hatch, the rear set of seats now folds flat so bigger items can be loaded inside. The interior also sees a bit of freshening and now includes power door locks and reclining seats.

Also new is the Zapino electric scooter, boasting a top speed of 30 miles per hour and a range of 30 miles. We've pasted a video detailing the upgrades to the Xebra along with the introduction of the Zapino for your viewing pleasure after the jump.

[Source: ZAP]


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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Once I determined that the Zap was not going to go more than 25 miles without charging I found it great. It definitely gets noticed - everywhere I go even when not in it the people around town say "aren't you the guy with the little electric car" or they tell me (if I am not in it) "they can hardly wait to see it.. Driving it around town is a joy. I had a jeep wrangler that I was not using and sold it to buy the Xebra to use as a toy. You know us guy with our toys and I love it. My hope is that when it comes time to replace the batteries there will be some that will give more mileage between charging because if I could just get 50 miles between charges I would never need another car unless traveling out of town.

      Again I say it is a great toy that I love driving and I really don't understand the nay sayers unless they did not read up on it beforehand and expected something more than it is. I purchased it for what it is - simply a glorified covered golf cart that can is street legal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Isetta, one of the most successful microcars in history was originally prototyped with 3 wheels, but was promptly replaced with 4-wheel model for production. Because of stability issues.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've been driving a 2008 Zap Xebra for almost a year. My feelings are mixed, but
      mostly I love zipping around in that thing. Zap did a great job in some areas, and just blew it in others;
      The Goods; The 4 door sedan geometry is excellent. I'm 6'2", and I don't feel cramped.
      I can take 3 other adults with me, and have bags of groceries in the hatchback area.
      The dashboard layout is great. The instrumentation , volt, ammeter, is well placed.
      Exterior lighting is super! IT IS STABLE. The center of gravity is very low.
      I can blast through corners, and it doesn't tip at all, or even come close.
      The BADS; The suspension is crappy. Thumpy. I had to shorten the bottom-out
      rubber stops my 2 inches, just the the suspension has room to work. Little stuff
      starts to break. The electric heater has stopped working. Oh, there's no water
      shield under the engine compartment! I hit a puddle of water, and the splash SHUT
      DOWN the engine (relay shorts). It took 2 hours of drying out before it worked again.
      It dogs out if you hit a hill. If you live in a hilly area, forget about it. The price, MSRP is
      $1188. Too high dudes, I can get a used Smart Car for that. If I didn't get a helluva deal on mine ($5k) I never would have bought one, honestly. ZAP, you've got a great body design here, better than the US stuff. Get your Quality Control in order, make 84 volt standard, and LOWER the MSRP, and you'll sell zillions of these things.

      • 6 Years Ago
      "any "car" that has LESS then 4 wheels is a FAIL in my books."

      Typical comment from a true non-engineer. A three wheeled vehicle can be a much more stable platform if properly designed. One less wheel to drag around results in a lighter vehicle with less rolling resistance. However, I would rather see the single wheel placed to the rear of the vehicle. Zap probably chooses to place the single wheel to the front to facilitate a design with better cargo carrying capabilities. Also, as far as the US Department of Motor Vehicles is concerned, a 3-wheeled vehicle falls under the same basic guidelines as motorcycles.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Susan", "Stephen" and "Candace" appear to be bogus "owners" placed here in order to fool prospective buyers. As such, their "testimonies" should be taken with a grain of salt. A very good ploy, though, I must say!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I LOVE my 2008 Xebra, which is identical to the one in this article. I have over 1,100 miles on it and drive it every day. No, I have never tipped over in it, and I drive it aggressively. Best of all, I haven't used a drop of fossil fuel in it since I purchased it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I own a Zap Truck and I love it!!! Once I got over the stares, the public interest, and being a walking salesperson for this vehicle... it is great! I drive it to work and school during the week, but must also share it with my significant other, who also likes to drive it to work. And together we try not to use a gas burning vehicle at all on the weekends. We have even taken the Zap Truck to Home Depot for brick, pavers, bags of dirt, etc.
      As for tipping, here's a story for you... we were out with some friends and a random drunk patron decided to shake my truck and see if he can tip it and knock it over. He shook it and shook it and shook it. He rocked it back and forth on several occassions (as I watched through the window) and was shocked at how sturdy it was. After several tries and several cigarettes later, the gentleman finally gave up. I have never once felt like I was going to tip. Love that truck!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the comments about the number of wheels are BS. A Aptera works great like that, altough I'd prefer the 2 front and 1 back-configuration on the ZAP too.
      To bad I can't buy either of them because I live in switzerland...

      But I'd also like to ask: Why is steel better than fiberglass? Rust, weight etc?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I test drove a Zap Xebra PK a year ago and I'm thinking about buying one. I never felt like tipping over was an issue.

      Mike is only half right. He says "The whole reason for 3 wheels is simple: to avoid the safety regulations of being classified as a car. Period, end of statement." He's right about that being the reason for 3 wheels. He's wrong for implying that there's nothing more to say on the subject.

      An enclosed motorcycle is both safer and more comfortable than an open one, and there are plenty of open motorcycles on the road. Should we laugh at everyone who rides a Harley because Harleys don't meet automobile crash standards? What about all those old cars that were built decades before the crash standards became law? I see lots of old Volkswagens that don't have airbags or crumple zones either.

      The Xebra fills a gap, halfway between motorcycle and car, some might say the best of both worlds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love my ZAP. I have over 6,000 miles on it, and it has been my favorite vehicle I have ever owned. I really researched all electric cars in the market and found for the money the ZAP just can't be beat. It makes real sense that ZAP and its dealers continue to out sell the competition. Why don't you pundits acutally visit ZAP and go see for yourself?
      • 6 Years Ago
      any "car" that has LESS then 4 wheels is a FAIL in my books.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's cut the crap. The whole reason for 3 wheels is simple: to avoid the safety regulations of being classified as a car. Period, end of statement.

      The car has been around for 100 years and there have literally been 100's of car companies during the time. Statistics dictate that if 3 wheel cars would be better than 4 wheeled ones, we would of found out by now.
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