According to reports, The Halo, the electric sports car concept that Mahindra & Mahindra showcased at this month’s Auto Expo, is more than a mere showpiece already.
Mahindra’s electric vehicle unit, Mahindra Reva, is already testing various parameters of Halo prototypes and a production design of India’s first locally developed electric sports car is not very far, say people with knowledge of the matter. That would be a big leap for Mahindra Reva, which has had limited success with the E2O small car that it launched about a year ago.
“It is our next big bet. If it passes the feasibility tests, the Halo has the potential of creating an all new affordable sports car segment,” Mahindra Reva Chief Executive Chetan Maini told ET. “It not only has a huge potential in the markets of Europe, where the awareness and acceptability is much higher, in India it could help us to break some myths of performance.”
Auto makers use concept cars to gauge consumer reaction to new technologies and styling. Such show cars usually undergo many changes before a production design is finalised. Mahindra Reva says the vehicle, when it reaches the production stage, would break the myth that electric cars can’t deliver on power and performance.
The two-door, two-seat vehicle will be capable of traveling 200 kms on a full charge and attaining a top speed of 160 kmph, claims the company. Acceleration from 0 to 100 kmph is expected to take just 7-8 seconds.
The car is likely to be priced at a tenth of the price of electric sports cars globally. According to a company executive, it could cost Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh.
The customer can expect a highperformance sporty car with highend features and safety systems at competitive prices, Maini said.
Mahindra Reva promises a host of advance “connectivity” features, user interfaces and high-performance drive trains and battery technologies. It will be capable of being fast charged as well as being charged with solar energy.
The car would be made on the locally developed NXG platform using light composite material. It would also feature an advanced energy management system.
Mahindra Reva plans to add programmable features in the car to make them more appealing. “We intend to offer the car which the user can programme, right from braking, handling, acceleration according to his own preferences,” Maini explained.
The company is looking forward to gain from its plan to participate in the 1st Formula E Championship to be held in the second half of 2014.
“It will be a great platform for the company to trickle down development done for Formula E for the commercial purpose,” Maini said.
Mahindra Reva had invested a little over Rs 100 crore in developing its small electric car E2O. The cost to develop the Halo will be higher, but it may not be dramatically higher when compared with other global sports cars or conventional cars, Maini said.