For Vespremi, getting the Torq is also the fulfillment of a dream. While he enjoys driving high-performance vehicles (he has a Toyota MR2 with a few hundred horses), the low reliability factor and outrageous noise that's an integral part of the gasoline-powered experience has long lost its luster. Of course, the Roadster built by his former employer would likely quench his thirst for speed, but its price tag was almost double that of his new topless track toy and is now out of production.
The Torq is just a tick less quick than the Tesla, but promises that visceral open-driving feel of an Ariel Atom or KTM X-Bow that is unavailable to drivers in the US. Yes, there is that whole 3-wheel thing, but a test drive convinced our pioneering protagonist that the configuration "didn't kill the handling." It also allows for street-legal homologation.
We're looking forward to hearing more about this latest electric sports car from a customer's perspective, which David says he'll provide in a few weeks (with video, please). In the mean time, he's written a blog post that tells the back story about his purchase.
Feel free to peruse the gallery of pics from the official launch (more here) and scroll on down for the official press release.
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Epic EV delivered the first production TORQ EV Roadster to San Francisco resident and former Tesla Director of Communications David Vespremi at its headquarters over the weekend.
In development since 2010, the novel 3-wheel, open top, high-performance electric vehicle, the TORQ Roadster, is the brainchild of Aptera co-founder, Chris Anthony.
"In many ways, the TORQ EV was the car I fantasized about while building the Aptera," remarked Chris Anthony to a crowded room of journalists, prospective customers, investors, and component suppliers at the event. Pausing to acknowledge his partner at Aptera, Steve Fambro, Anthony went on to explain that while sharing the novel 3 Wheel architecture and 100% electric drivetrain configuration of the Aptera, the TORQ was conceived as a very different vehicle aimed at a very different customer. "Whereas the Aptera was designed to be the most efficient commuter car possible, the TORQ, as its name implies, puts performance first and harnesses the amazing power delivery of an all-electric driveline mounted to featherweight platform to provide breathtaking acceleration and handling."
There were a total of four TORQ Roadsters in various configurations on hand to provide rides and thrills for those in attendance. Anthony made a point of highlighting the fact that the TORQ Roadster is not only considerably less expensive than its two high-performance electric vehicle counterparts from Northern California based contemporary, Tesla Motors and Fisker, but that they were designed to be much more of an open-platform, and user configurable as well.
"Whereas, the Tesla Roadster is a great street car that also can be driven at the track," commented Anthony, "the TORQ is a great track vehicle, that can also be driven on the street. The difference being," he added, "the TORQ is much easier to service, repair, and configure/modify by the end user."
First customer, David Vespremi, Tesla Motors's former Director of Communications, and perhaps best known for his outspoken enthusiasm for the driving dynamics of the original Tesla Roadster, accepted the keys to his black TORQ Roadster with optional carbon fiber body panels and a number of additional comfort and convenience items.
"As you can imagine, I'm very excited to be the first customer for this fantastic machine," said Vespremi. "In the U.K. and elsewhere, track-day machines like the KTM X-Bow, Ariel Atom, and others can be registered for road use and driven to and from the track or autocross on weekends. However, here in the U.S., those cars can't legally be registered for use on public roads, so there is a pretty big lifestyle commitment involved in purchasing a tow vehicle, trailer, and all of the spares needed to enjoy the visceral experience of a track day car here. A big part of what appeals to me about the TORQ is that I can literally charge it in my garage on the same charger as our Nissan LEAF, sneak out early in the morning in a quiet electric car without the rumble of an engine waking our two young children, go for a spirited drive, and be back again without having disturbed anyone, let alone the environment," explained Vespremi, "and I don't have to own a pickup truck or trailer to do it," he added.
The TORQ Roadster starts at $65,000 in the United States and €50,000 Europe.
Epic EV will be producing approximately fifty 2013 TORQs, for which they are now taking secured and fully refundable $10,000 deposits, followed by a substantial increase when production ramps up for the 2014 TORQ, for which they are taking secured and fully refundable $5,000 deposits.
About Epic EV
EPIC EV's goal is to create accessible, reliable, high performance electric vehicles. EPIC believes the technology exists today to have an electric vehicle grace every garage without compromising performance and style. San Diego, California-based Epic EV designs and manufacturers EVs, The World's First Electric Sport Boat, as well as EV Powertrain Components for partners such as Delorean. For more information www.TORQev.com or see our Parent Company at www.EpicBoats.com.