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Dodge Circuit EV Price

Surprisingly fun despite a hefty load of batteries.

Automakers aren’t usually receptive to the idea of us driving their concept cars, as most of these are little more than million-dollar auto-show paperweights that may not even move under their own power. The case of the Dodge Circuit EV, however, is different. Lou Rhodes, president of Chrysler’s electric-car ENVI division, had no qualms about giving us the first chance to wring the neck of this electric-powered sports car on a road course - the 1.7-mile handling loop at the company’s proving ground in Chelsea, Michigan.

Shown last fall for the first time, the Circuit is a not-sold-here Lotus Europa (itself a slightly swollen version of the Elise) that’s had its powertrain replaced with a 268-hp, 295-lb-ft electric motor and a large, 35-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Comparisons with the Lotus Elise-based Tesla roadster are inevitable.

When looking for a place to dock a 600-pound battery pack, a front-engine platform is all wrong from the perspective of weight distribution. And finding a mid-engine chassis from a manufacturer that will entertain inquiries for low-volume orders quickly trims the options down to one: Lotus. Its lightweight Elise and Exige S sports cars provide a tiny annual sales footprint in the U.S. (less than 2000 units), but the company is set to expand with its larger, more passenger-friendly Evora.

Rhodes touts the versatility of electric powertrains: A lower-power version of the Circuit’s motor can be shared with various other mainstream vehicles such as the Chrysler Town & Country minivan and the Jeep Wrangler and Patriot; the company has well-sorted running prototypes of each. While the Circuit is battery-only, the other variants are of the range-extended electric variety, as in Chevy’s Volt, which is powered by an electric motor but has a gas engine onboard to generate electricity if needed, which prevents occupants from being marooned when the juice runs out.

Keep Reading: 2011 Dodge Circuit EV – First Drive Review

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Dodge Circuit EV Price
Dodge Circuit EV Price

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Dodge Car Premium Rates for Motor

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