French electric car manufacturer Venturi launched what may well have been the Paris motor show’s most exclusive vehicle – the £290,000 America, limited to a run of 25 units.
The America is a two-seat crossover, half sports car half beach buggy. Based on a model that was launched in 2012, the new car has been restyled with a raised ride height to give it a degree of off-road ability.
It’s powered by a three-phase electric motor that produces 400bhp and 354lb ft, granting the America a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec and a 0-125mph time of 14sec. Venturi’s own 53KwH battery pack allows for a claimed 155 mile range, and a full charge takes 3.5 hours.
At 4125mm long, 1450m tall and 2060mm wide the America is shorter, wider and lower than a VW Golf, and has a slightly longer wheelbase. With a ground clearance of 280mm it’s got more space underneath than a Land Rover Freelander, although it isn’t four-wheel drive.
Carbonfibre bodywork covers a Kevlar and aluminium honeycomb chassis, although its kerb weight of 1525 kg is relatively high for a compact vehicle made from lightweight materials.
Venturi will begin to take orders for the America when it shows the car at the all-electric Formula E-Prix in Monaco next May, and it will be built in the firm’s factory at Le Mans, with final finishing carried out in Monaco.
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