New Vauxhall Ampera review and picture gallery evo

5 мая 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи New Vauxhall Ampera review and picture gallery evo отключены
VAUXHALL Ampera Electric Cars

We review the Vauxhall Ampera, a version of the Chevrolet Volt

is it?

The future, possibly. Vauxhall’s electric car will go on sale at the end of the and suddenly everything else be obsolete. The Ampera is the European of the Chevrolet Volt, and rather to most eyes. Technically a plug-in hybrid, but Vauxhall really like the h-word it makes people think of a Prius.

And the Ampera works in a different way.


A hybrid is a vehicle in which an (IC) engine and an electric power that vehicle separately or together. In hybrids so far on the IC engine does most of the most of the time. The electric-only is usually restricted to low speeds, acceleration and short distances enough to struggle through the urban cycle test and so a flattering CO2 result).

The Ampera has both types of unit but, with one exception, the electric motor all the driving. All the engine does is a generator to supply power to the once the charge it received the night, from your electricity supply, has run low. Not low, because there’s enough in reserve to give the its normal pace rather the reduced pace the 84bhp, petrol engine could alone via its generator.

That would unfold only if you about 100 miles up a mountain the IC engine has kicked in.

At higher speeds, the generator as an auxiliary motor while is still battery charge, itself via a clutch to the final and augmenting the main motor’s When charge is low, the remains thus connected but the IC is also connected to it by another so part of the engine’s efforts are to the driving wheels. The engine is now powering the generator which can top up the

At low speeds, the generator does in electric mode, but charges the in extended-range, battery-low, IC engine-on

Electric-only range is up to 50 miles (of motoring), but with a full of fuel the Ampera might 10 times that distance. quite possible that on a commuting run, the engine never be needed. In which it will occasionally start just to stay healthy.

What’s it like to drive?

The are promising. There’s 149bhp and ft on tap, and although the top speed is to 100mph for reasons of fuel and gearing it will still 62mph in around nine And there’s that pleasing of effort from a standstill electric cars do so well.

The we drove was a late prototype, closer in looks and feel to than the last one we sampled. The cabin is a quality job, touch-sensitive console buttons and moving graphics on the display You’re never in doubt what’s happening in the Ampera’s systems, or how efficiently you’re the energy.

The displays are similar to a Prius’s but and more colourful.

Driving the is easy, as with any electric foot down and go. There’s a mode for extra accelerative at the expense of battery reserves, and a mode which brings the IC in sooner to ensure battery for as long as possible when up that 100-mile mountain The IC engine’s eventual joining-in is imperceptibly smooth and discreet, but running its revs rise and in quite close concert your accelerator movements.

Its range is quite narrow and it revs hard, but the effect is to the Ampera feel surprisingly in a CVT sort of way. Like a punchier Prius, in fact.

The pack is heavy and you can feel it in the responses, but the centre of gravity is Steering and cornering are tidy and The ride is pretty smooth, and the Ampera is low on road roar, thumps and wind noise when the powertrain is so quiet.

It’s a great cruiser.

How it compare?

With a straight car, brilliantly because it has a range with no need to for a recharge. With a more hybrid, also brilliantly it uses less fuel, further and more speedily on alone, is more fun to drive and ‘purer’ in concept.

Anything I need to know?

The Ampera is a four-seater hatchback, but not a five-seater the centre tunnel gets in the way (it the battery pack). It’s in the US but production could move to And it will cost £28,995 a £5000 UK government grant.

Given what the Ampera is and it can do, that seems fair

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