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Protospar Lampo3: 560-HP, Three-Motored Electric Concept

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On: Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:35AM | By: Chris Weiss


Protospar Lampo3: 560-HP, Three-Motored Electric Concept

Ever notice that the Swiss have pretty much zero automotive presence. Despite dominating industries like timepieces and pocket knives, and despite that "Swiss engineered" is about the equivalent of "utmost quality," the Swiss don't really get involved in cars, outside of a couple of tuning firms and a handful of small, specialty automakers.

And maybe that's because the process behind making a car that's good enough to wear a "Swiss engineered" label is just so damn intricate and time-consuming, it's not worth it. At least that's the impression we're getting from Swiss EV-maker Protoscar. Because we're on the third iteration of the company's "Lampo" EV prototype and it still don't appear to be anywhere near actual production.

The original Lampo was launched at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show and the Lampo2 launched at last year's show. I guess Protoscar was running a little behind schedule, having to wait until spring 2010 to unveil the Lampo3.

Each iteration of the Lampo has gotten more powerful, and the Lampo3 is the best example of this yet. The car pulls 560 horses and 664 lb-ft out of three individual electric motors—one at each rear wheel and one on the front axle. The three-plant configuration is designed to enhance torque vectoring between the two axles and two rear wheels, maximizing the sporty handling of the 2 + 2. The motors are powered by a 32 kWh battery pack that provides up to 124 miles of go.

The car gets notably quicker and faster than its predecessors, with Protoscar citing a 137 mph top speed and a 4.5-second sprint to 62 mph (the Lampo2 took ~5 seconds to 60 mph and topped out around 124 mph).

While the Lampo3 isn't exactly a rival for the Tesla Roadster or Fisker Karma in terms of fluid, sporty looks, the car is definitely a step up from the Lampo2. It seems like with each new car, Protoscar adds a few extra curves and sculpts out a few pieces. The front-end looks much better than the Lampo2's rough, one-dimensional front fascia, and even the rear, which is far from sexy, is a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, no word on when we might expect an actual production Protoscar, so we'll go ahead and call it now: Lampo4 around this time next year.

If and when it does launch an actual car, Protoscar plans to address some of the criticism of electric cars. While the electricity that powers electric cars is much cleaner than gasoline on its face, the electricity still comes from somewhere—often a big, dirty, coal-burning power plant. While studies have shown that electric vehicles still have a smaller emissions footprint than their gas counterparts, even when taking electricity production into consideration, the indirect pollution continues to be one of the key detractions of EVs.

Protoscar takes on what it calls the "Well to Wheel" approach seeking an EV with minimal footprint. To do this, the company has invested in solar power facilities in Italy that offset the electricity produced to power its prototypes. So it may just wait until it has enough of a solar-power presence to power actual production fleet before ever launching a model.


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