It looks like the company that first got us excited about modern in-wheel motors is finally going forward with commercialization. To paraphrase (poorly) a certain Mr. Sam Cooke, "It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a Protean Electric Drive™ gonna come. Oh yes, it will."
Protean is back at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress at Cobo Hall this year with a new car showcasing the company's in-wheel motors: a modified Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The car was first seen in Frankfurt last year, and is making its North American debut this week in Detroit.
The German aftermarket specialists at Brabus have entered the eco battle with the unveiling of a prototype EV based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Rather than extracting more power out of the E-Class' gasoline engine, Brabus decided to rip out the gasser and replace it with electric-only hardware.