Ireland is known for postcard-perfect landscapes and, of course, Guinness, but the nation isn’t typically associated with cars. Now, however, a designer named Tom Finnegan has teamed up with a company called Swift Composite Prototypes to change that.
The two partners have developed an experimental electric two-seater christened Alex eroadster. It features a futuristic, if slightly generic-looking, sloping front end with a large air dam and LED lights, while its rear fascia is almost reminiscent of the fourth-generation Prelude that Honda sold from 1991 to 1996.
The eroadster will ride on a lightweight chassis designed in Denmark, and its body panels will be crafted out of composite materials including carbon fiber and Kevlar. All told, Swift Composite Prototypes predicts the eroadster will be approximately 30 percent lighter than similarly-sized cars in spite of its bulky battery pack.
The passenger compartment will be accessed via a clamshell-like roof panel that tilts forward. Pictures are not available, but it will boast a state-of-the-art cockpit with a removable tablet that will allow the driver to communicate with the car from a distance.
The eroadster is powered by a pair of 80-kw electric motors that will zap the rear wheels. Full technical details are still being finalized, but Finnegan estimates the two-seater will be able to reach 62 mph from a stop in less than 10 seconds and drive for over 155 miles on a single charge thanks to what the company refers to as revolutionary new batteries. A regenerative braking system and roof-mounted solar panels will help keep the battery topped up.
The Alex eroadster will be built by Swift Composite Prototypes in Dunleer, Ireland. Scheduled to kick off next year, production will be initially limited to just 1,000 examples. Official pricing information has not been published yet, but sources close to the company have told Irish newspaper Independent that the eroadster will kick off at about €30,000 (roughly $33,000). Finnegan told us via email that the eroadster will be available all around Europe.
Once all 1,000 examples have been built and spoken for, Finnegan will start designing a five-seater family car that he hopes to mass produce. However, the sedan isn’t expected to arrive until much later in the decade.
Irish media outlets have already started to draw parallels between the Alex eroadster and the notorious DeLorean DMC-12, the last series-produced car built on the island of Ireland. Surprisingly, Finnegan welcomes the comparison.
“It has already been dubbed the ‘Dun Leerean’ by some people, which we think is great as long as it raises awareness of the car. The difference is that the DeLorean was a glorious failure — and this car won’t be,” explained the designer.