2009 Detroit Auto Show: Dodge Circuit EV and Jeep Patriot EV
By Kevin Miller
Chrysler seems to put putting all of their eggs into one basket, so to speak. In addition to the stunning 200C EV, Chrysler showed two other vehicles today in Detroit, and they are both feature electric propulsion.
The new Dodge Circuit EV was shown first. Painted in a “Tangoreen” orange color, the all-electric Circuit EV has a 0-60 time less than five seconds, a ¼ mile time in the low13’s, and a 125 MPH top speed. All of this comes with range of 150-200 miles, with a 200 kW (268 HP) electric motor, lithium-ion battery, and integrated electronics. The Circuit EV can be charged from 110 household power or 220 V appliance connections.
Press materials describe the interior of the Circuit EV as “uncomplicated,” which could be interpreted either as straightforward, or as poorly equipped, hopefully the former is the case. The leather-covered instrument cluster houses two primary analog-face gauges, with an additional digital display for information about the electric drive system.
Seats in the Circuit EV feature deep bolsters and are covered in premium leather. The same premium leather covers the center console and the width of the instrument panel. Circuit EV is said to incorporate the convenience features expected in a sports car, including premium sound system, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, and cruise control.
The second vehicle reveal was a Jeep Patriot EV, which is the next vehicle being given Chrysler’s Range-Extended Electric Vehicle treatment. Much like the Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Town & Country versions revealed last year, the Patriot EV employs a 200 HP gasoline engine and a 60 HP electric motor , with a Lithium-ion battery and regenerative braking, and proprietary controls. The front-wheel-drive Patriot EV has an all-electric propulsion range of about 40 miles, with a total driving range of up to 400 miles on a tank of fuel. Zero-to-sixty MPH takes about 8 seconds. Aside from the electric propulsion, the Patriot EV works just like a regular Patriot.
Chrysler has indicated that they’ll have their first electric vehicle ready for sale to the public some time next year. While either of these would be a fine choice, the ideal car would be the 200C EV, which has a much better combination of style and practicality than either of the two cars pictured here. In any case, it will be interesting to see whether Chrysler can get their chosen EV into the market before the Chevrolet Volt. Time will tell.
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