A new Reva G-Wiz? It looks just like the old one!
All the changes on the new G-Wiz i are under the skin, you see. This latest edition - distinguished by the de rigeur 'i' badging - benefits from the latest enhancements to the electric running gear to make it faster, go further, and crash more safely.
Reva Electric Car Company, the Indian firm that manufactures the G-Wiz, teamed up with Lotus to complete some of the work. Spurred on by the PR calamity earlier in 2007 when a G-Wiz was crash tested with horrific results, no doubt.
The experts at Hethel have worked on the safety equipment and, it is claimed, conducted a successful crash test at 25mph. There's a strengthened spaceframe, a collapsible steering column, fettled crumple zones and a boosted braking system that cuts stopping distances by 30 percent.
And what about the electric bit? Can I still tootle around town in near-silence?
But of course. The G-Wiz i has a claimed top speed of 50mph and can travel up to 48 miles on one charge - thanks to new lithium-ion batteries. Reva says the new A/C drivetrain (the early cars were D/C) operates more smoothly and even frees up more cabin room.
The result is a zero-emissions city car with space for two (Reva, somewhat ambitiously calls it a 2+2) and plenty of fiscal reasons to buy. Parking is free in many parts of London and the cost of a year's electricity is said to be less than a tank of fuel at around £50.
The latest G-Wiz i costs £8895 and GoinGreen, the UK distributor, will start first deliveries in February 2008. The marketing story behind the G-Wiz is worth noting; there are no salesmen employed by the company, and it relies on viral marketing and owners to demonstrate the car instead of conventional test drives.
For a full analysis of the latest electric cars, read the new January 2008 issue of CAR Magazine