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Old 05-14-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
TmT
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Default One electrifying car: The Zero/Sports Racing Development ZERO EV ELEXCEED RS.



The Zero/Sports Racing Development ZERO EV ELEXCEED RS

Words/Photography: Michael Motoda


Zero/Sports Racing Development, a Japanese developer and manufacturer of aftermarket parts for Subaru, sets new standards in the realm of environmentally-conscious and forward-thinking performance cars. Established in 1998, Zero/Sports' Electric Vehicle R&D Department quickly broke speed records in Japan with its electric formula car in 2000 (276.6 km/h). In 2003 it became Japan's 17th largest automaker.

With so much momentum, their Zero EV Elexceed RS, or "EV Car" for short, has been generating a great deal of buzz among Subaru enthusiasts. Street legal in Japan, this beautiful open-top roadster was recently made available to drive at EDO Performance in Huntington Beach, Calif.

On a single 8-hour battery charge from a standard household outlet, the EV Car has a range of nearly 45 miles (70 km) at speeds approaching 40 mph (60 km/h). It's made possible by a combination of intelligent engineering, efficient aerodynamics, and a curb weight even Colin Chapman would envy: 948 lbs. While the speed may be a little low and the trip a little short, excellent driving dynamics are promised by 4-wheel disc brakes with cross-drilled rotors, independent double-wishbone suspension, and rear-wheel drive power transferred to the ground via 145/70R12 performance tires wrapped around custom Zero/Sports lightweight wheels.

EDO Performance representatives mentioned that the latest version of the EV Car runs on smaller and more efficient lithium-ion batteries, instead of the lead-acid type in the vehicle we drove. This will not only shorten the amount of time required to fully charge the batteries, but will extend the car's driving range and increase its top speed as well.

For those lucky enough to have a chance to get behind the wheel of the EV Car, the feedback reflects the crux of automotive enthusiasm: it's a blast to drive and brings a smile to your face. Steering is quick and responsive, acceleration is swift, and torque flows from the electric motor without effort. The car's simple controls are universally instinctive to understand and are thoughtfully placed throughout its single-occupant cockpit. Road feel is present and direct. The tires stay firmly planted on the road, inspiring driver confidence through high speed cornering. The car's styling is equally beautiful: clean lines front to back, an aggressive and attractive front fascia, and nice details that look great from any angle.

The Zero/Sports EV car is a tangible example of alternative fuel sources put into real world vehicles -- in this case a vehicle that Subaru enthusiasts could get excited about. It's not just a vehicle that respects the world we inhabit, it's a vehicle made from the tried-and-true sports car formula: fun-to-drive and pretty to look at.

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Old 05-14-2007, 02:03 PM   #2
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Yeah that thing was fun to drive handle pretty good ...but fun for sure.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:08 PM   #3
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damn, 948 lbs. It is kinda small though.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:10 PM   #4
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Nice! those are some huge headlights
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:17 PM   #5
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thats amazing.. but i love my gasoline powered engines.. down to my 32cc weedwacker, and my 15hp 6speed snowblower.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRex View Post
thats amazing.. but i love my gasoline powered engines.. down to my 32cc weedwacker, and my 15hp 6speed snowblower.
I bet you could put a few cards on the spokes of the wheels to get that engine sound.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:35 PM   #7
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I doubt 40MPH will cut it for those Highway travelers.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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45 min on a charge, what happens when you get into traffic? Pull over and wait till it clears I guess
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:43 PM   #9
Mick J
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i think the 45 mile limiter would be more of a problem than the speed.
personally i would love to get one because i could use it for school and back everday with no problems.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:54 PM   #10
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this thing should never be street legal

imaging a big, long nose, rig behind it in stop and go traffic. Truck driver would not see it and for sure forget about it one of these times and just pull in right behind the car that was in front of this thing, thus,... U get the drift
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:55 PM   #11
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other than being hard to get into, it was actually pretty nice !!
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:56 PM   #12
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These sort of vehicles aren't really anything new, though, are they? A buddy of mine, for his senior project ~ 5 years ago, converted his Fiero into a solely electric car and designed/built the motor controller for it. 8-10 yellow-top Optima batteries and 50 miles on a charge. This does, though, look nicer and I'm sure handles like a dream!
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:06 PM   #13
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Cross drilled brake rotors? WTH for?
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:12 PM   #14
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I could use it to get back and forth to work! 20 miles RT.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:13 PM   #15
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Subaru has an electric version of the R1 that they are letting a Japanese electrical company use as a test. Too bad that they don't sell the R1 here.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:23 PM   #16
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this thing looks sweet... I'd buy one for sure (assuming I had the cash to blow lol)
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:30 PM   #17
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Cross drilled brake rotors? WTH for?
Weight reduction?
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:32 PM   #18
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any chance we'll see it at EDO in Austin?
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:35 PM   #19
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i don't think this was intended for hwy use...i'd definately get this on side streets. i would also assume that this might even be street legal in the near future if it's not already with more regulations than regular EV cars. When that happens...I'd probably get one too!
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensi View Post
45 min on a charge, what happens when you get into traffic? Pull over and wait till it clears I guess
It's actually an 8 hour charge.

That thing would be a blast to drive on a track. Wonder what one of those things cost??
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:57 PM   #21
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COOOL! I want one! =P
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:04 PM   #22
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so to those who saw it, is it only 2 ft high by 3 ft wide??

basically a super high tech electric go-cart, ah, no thanks.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensi View Post
45 min on a charge, what happens when you get into traffic? Pull over and wait till it clears I guess
45 mile range, not 45 minutes. You can shut the motor off in traffic automatically and have it start the instant you hit the gas like hybrids. Thus extending the runtime.

Too bad this car is so small. I can see it being used in smaller countries but not in the U.S.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:57 PM   #24
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Thanks for the comments so far, everyone. This is my first piece to be featured on NASIOC's homepage, so any feedback (good or bad) is appreciated.

I would like to say thank you to the entire staff at EDO Performance for working with me on this article, and for letting me take it for a spin during their grand opening event to get some hand's-on impressions.

-Mike
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:36 PM   #25
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well you did a great job Mike!

the front of that RS reminds me of the Mazda cars they used to race at Lemans the 787B, or even the Mclaren F1
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