Based on an Audi R8 chassis and using a few currently-available components (like the air conditioner from an Audi A3), the new Electric RaceAbout (ERA) from Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia is getting ready to take part in the Progressive Automotive X Prize. The ERA is a lightweight (1,250 kg/2,750 lbs target weight) AWD electric vehicle that is expected to have a range of over 300 km (186 miles) and a top speed of over 200 kmh (124 mph). The goal is to make this vehicle reach that all-important 100+ mpge level with li-ion battery packs that will weigh somewhere between 350 and 570 kg (that's between 770 and 1,250 pounds. As a comparison, this is much heavier than the Chevy Volt's 350-400 pound packs). The carbon fiber body is moved by four electric in-wheel motors.
The ERA will be coming sometime next summer. The Institute of Design, Lahti Polytechnic and the Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia are working together on this vehicle. No estimated price is available for the Electric RaceAbout, but the newly unveiled website says it will be "Affordable (in sport vehicle range)." That would be nice, wouldn't it?
[Source: Electric RaceAbout, thanks to Janne M. for the tip!]