Work begins on Project 50 lightweight electric car

Mercedes-Benz has begun studies into a new hi-tech small car to rival the BMW Mega City Vehicle, autocar.co.uk has learned.

It goes under the name Project 50 and has been described by a company insider as a car with the dimensions of the original A-class, which means it will around 3500mm in length.

However, it won't use the old A-class platform, as it would be too heavy and too expensive to re-engineer for future crash test regs. Although it isn't yet certain, there is a chance it could use the rear-engine/rear-wheel drive platform from the upcoming Smart ForFour.

As with the BMW Mega City, Mercedes is investigating using carbonfibre construction techniques and powering the car with an electric drivetrain.

The Mega City is a zero-emissions electric city car and will be built at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany. It will be launched in the next three years, and will be badged as what BMW calls “ a sub-brand of BMW”. Recent speculation has suggested it will be a Mini.

BMW has formed a joint venture with carbonfibre producer SGL to make carbonfibre-reinforced plastics for the car’s panels at its plant in Landshut.

The firm’s Leipzig plant produces the 1-series and the X1.

Greg Kable

Follow us on FacebookSee all the latest Mercedes reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
1

31 March 2010

So what is the Smart fortwo for then?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lotus Elise Cup 250
    First Drive
    29 April 2016
    The fastest, most track-focused and most expensive Elise ever made. It's simple, raw and immersive
  • Porsche 911 Targa 4S
    First Drive
    27 April 2016
    Slick looks, open-top fun and 911 handling sound brilliant, but the Targa has historically trailed the Coupé. How does the new model fare on UK roads?
  • Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d
    First Drive
    26 April 2016
    Jaguar's debut SUV wowed us abroad, but does it still impress as much here on the UK's roads?
  • Car review
    26 April 2016
    Electric saloon is ramped up beyond ‘insane’ for yet more effect
  • Car review
    26 April 2016
    Is this a genuine supercar slayer for top-rank sports car money?