Electra Meccanica, the electric division of the formerly Italian (now based in Canada) automaker InterMeccanica, is going forward with the development of a new all-electric roadster called Tofino.
At the Vancouver Auto Show this week, a year after unveiling the first renders of the vehicle, they unveiled the chassis of their development car.
Electra Meccanica is best known for the SOLO, a ~$15,500 all-electric 3-wheeler with 100 miles range, but sister company InterMeccanica is best known for its trademark roadsters and the Tofino is presented as an evolution of that heritage.
When it was announced last year, we suggested that it looked like an attempt to create the “Mazda Miata of electric vehicles”, which is not necessarily a bad approach.
It’s nothing like a Tesla Roadster, which is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an all-electric roadster.
km/h (125 mph), and 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 7.0 Seconds.
While those performance specs are not competitive with Tesla’s next-gen Roadster, or even the company’s older Roadster (2008-2012), it would also be much cheaper: $50,000 USD.
This week, they unveiled the lightweight chassis that they developed for the vehicle:
“The Tofino chassis is crafted from aircraft composite (FRP/ Aluminum) tub structure weighing only 175 lbs (80 kg). It features front and rear aluminum subframes and an aluminum cowl brace for added structural rigidity. It is equipped with a double “A” arm front suspension and a five-link rear suspension both with adjustable dampers. Also shown in the chassis are the UQM performance motor and dual floor-mounted battery packs.”
Here are a few images:
The company says that the Tofino chassis has “a 92-inch wheelbase and classic sports car dimensions: 153-inches long, 56-inches wide, and 49-inches tall (to the top of the roll bar).”
Meccanica COO Henry Reisner commented on the launch at the Vancouver show:
“We’re thrilled to be able to show the next phase of development for the Tofino EV roadster here in our home town of Vancouver. The Tofino and SOLO will pair in the Meccanica lineup to become two of the most exciting, fun-to-drive and efficient electric vehicles on the market and we can’t wait for the public’s reaction at the show!”
Electra Meccanica says that it aims to bring the vehicle to market next year.
I was way more excited for the Tofino and the idea of the “Mazda Miata of electric vehicles” when the company said that they were aiming to bring the vehicle to market for $50,000 CAD (~$38,000 USD) last year.
But now with a price of $50,000 USD, it seems expensive for a small roadster without any exciting performance specs.
You can get a Tesla Model 3 for the same price and much better specs, while actually having a functional vehicle.
I think there’s a really good opportunity to make a lightweight and aerodynamic all-electric roadster that wouldn’t require too big of a battery pack to achieve a decent range and offer it at a reasonable price.
The Tofino looks like a step in that direction, but it’s not quite there yet.