At the Frankfurt Motor Show last month I had the opportunity to test drive a REVA NXR electric car.
This car is going to be available in Europe early next year, and according to press reports will soon be built in the United States as well.
As yet, journalists have not been allowed to drive the NXR for themselves - they’ll have to wait until the beginning of next year - but as I run the Reva Car Club I was allowed to jump the queue and get a drive in first.
The NXR is a two door, four seat city car. It can comfortably seat four people and has more interior space than many mainstream city cars on the market.
Overall fit and finish are good and the car feels extremely solid. Good quality switchgear has been used which makes the car feel like a very good quality product.
All round visibility is excellent and although the interior felt quite dark, it certainly did not feel claustrophobic.
Performance is impressive - the maximum torque from pull away really suits this sort of car very well, and the power delivery is very smooth. Primary ride is also good whilst handling is reasonable with little body roll and good levels of grip. I went round one tight 90° corner at around 40mph - I think if I had tried the same corner in my G-Wiz I would have crashed it!
The turning circle is excellent: that is one of the huge benefits of the current G-Wiz and it is good to see that REVA have kept that with the new car.
Before trying out the NXR, I went to the local Ford dealership to look at an equivalent Ford - the KA (I don’t think this is available in the US?). In comparison, the Ford KA was not as spacious in the front (I couldn’t fit into the back at all), the quality of the interior was not as good and quite frankly I was not impressed.
The base model Ford KA sells for a very similar price to the base model REVA NXR. For the first time I’ve come across an electric car that is comparable in quality and specification to a mainstream car, selling for a similar price that can compared favorably - even when ignoring the environmental benefits of electric vs gasoline.
I’ve posted up a brief video of my test drive here: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQrROlZsXcY]YouTube - REVA NXR electric car - first test drive[/ame]
I’ve also got a video interview with Chetan Maini, the CTO of REVA here: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONqFFwVq1U0]YouTube - Chetan Maini interview 21 09 2009[/ame]