Students from a German university are busily preparing an experimental electric vehicle they’ve designed for a public unveiling in September.
12 industrial design students from the Technical University of Munich are leading the development of the MUTE concept car. The students are designing the subcompact electric vehicle as a mass-production vehicle that will have a total cost of ownership equal to that of current compact cars, a data sheet prepared by the MUTE team said. With a maximum speed of 75 kilometers per hour, the rear-wheel-drive car has a curb weight of 400 kilograms (about 880 pounds, with the battery adding another 220 pounds or so) and seats two. Designed for urban areas, the vehicle has a range of at least 60 miles on a single charge.
The TUM team ran the car on its first test runs this summer, though a press release from the school said that the vehicle’s final design — though not its driving dynamics — remains under wraps. The initial test drives evaluated the MUTE prototype’s cornering ability, system designed to evenly distribute force between its wheels, and technology meant to maximize the car’s use of energy generated by its electric motor for braking whenever possible. The team said in its announcement that MUTE completed a lane-change test better than conventional medium sized automobiles.
Mute’s final design will be unveiled at Frankfurt’s International Motor Show, which opens to the public from Sept. 15-25. That show will also feature a concept electric vehicle designed by Renault and aimed at families, as well as Peugeot’s 508 RXH diesel electric hybrid.