Vauxhall RAK e concept makes world debut

The RAK e name is taken from a rocket-powered car built by the company in 1928, but there are very few similarities between that car and the all-electric ‘mobility solution’ revealed today.

The RAK e is a two-seat electric car designed to be as small and lightweight as possible. The reasoning behind this is to offer city-based drivers a compact and efficient car for busy roads.

As a result the Vauxhall RAK e is capable of squeezing into small parking spaces thanks to its sub-three-metre length and a turning circle of just 5.5 metres improves agility.

The main focus for the RAK e has been in terms of weight. The low profile is built using a steel spaceframe and lightweight materials. The car itself weights just 380kg and as a result the car can drag more performance out of its electric powertrain.

Designed for the city, the car is capable of travelling 60 miles on a single charge but can reach a top speed of 75mph if necessary. A 0-62mph of 13 seconds is modest but provides enough acceleration to cope in and around urban areas.

The streamline design of the car is complemented by the inclusion of low rolling resistance tyres – including two thin rear wheels pushed close together in a system more reminiscent of a motorbike.

The unique two-seat car is only a concept at the moment, but Vauxhall has labelled it a ‘production possibility’ in future.

Vauxhall says the car would be aimed at younger buyers and as a result prices would be more affordable than other electric cars on the market today.

Inspired by the Vauxhall Ampera, a four-seat hatchback which uses an electric powertrain and a petrol engine to extend its range, Vauxhall says the advances in electric technology seen in the hatchback could mean the RAK e makes it into production in future.

“The RAK e is inspired by our wealth of experience in the area of electro-mobility, underpinned by the Ampera,” said Brit, Mark Adams, Opel/Vauxhall’s Vice President of Design. “This progressive concept is creating a new class of electric vehicle; we’re eager to see the reaction of customers at the show.”