Recognizing that "Typ-1" never really quite rolled off the tongue, Aptera has renamed its soon-to-launch electric-powered three-wheeler the Aptera 2e -- the numeral indicating its seat count and the alpha element referring to its electric power. Now slated to be on sale by mid-2009, the composite-structured plug-in trike also received a number of subtle but effective styling tweaks, starting with a slightly lower profile. The rear-vision camera system also has been consolidated from three body-mounted units into one sleeker roof-mounted fin that retains all of the functionality without impacting the vehicle's stellar 0.15 drag coefficient.
One of the last design hurdles to be resolved prior to putting this aircraft-inspired zero-emissions cruiser on the road is how to make the Aptera 2e's side windows articulate. In contrast to the original Typ-1 design, the new 2e variant has added a small rear quarter window and reshaped the door itself into a configuration more amenable to allowing the previously-fixed side glass to slip inside, as it does on any conventional vehicle.
Based in Vista, California, the fledgling automaker also is working on a plug-in hybrid variant that will be called the Aptera 2h and has a planned market launch of sometime in 2010. Where the range on the Aptera 2e is around 120 miles for each overnight recharge, its plug-in alter ego is the expected to run about 600 miles on a tank of fuel and electric power. While still not finalized, Aptera 2e pricing is projected to be around $25,000-$30,000 with the hybrid variant likely positioned in the $35,000-$40,000 area.