Vauxhall Ampera – Eco Electric Car
Vauxhall is taking hybrid-electric powered cars to the next level, committing to the Ampera, which runs solely on electric power and only has a 1.4 petrol engine to recharge the batteries. The dominating body and swoopy styling adds drama to what is already a headlining new car.
Vauxhall Ampera – Low Car Tax Band (Exempt)
The Vauxhall Ampera will be in tax band A when it’s released in February 2012, meaning owners will only pay the bare minimum for tax. While it's expensive to buy at £35,000-plus, the running costs and the possible government grant of £5,000 for electric vehicles makes owning an Ampera a long-term investment.
Vauxhall Ampera – Low Co2 Emissions
Only bicycles have a better carbon emission output than the Ampera. The clever hybrid technology means it only emits 42g/km of CO2, and that is from the frugal 1.4 petrol engine that supplements the hi-tech battery power. Vauxhall claims that the new car will return very high mpg, an astounding 175mpg, which is light-years ahead of rivals, such as the Toyota Prius.
Vauxhall Ampera – Safety Features
Pitched as a family car, the Vauxhall Ampera Electric Car has an abundance of safety features. Power steering, electronic brake force distribution and ABS help keep the car on the road. The added electronic safety net of traction control and stability control also make the Ampera a safe car to drive.
Vauxhall Ampera – Low Running Costs
As for running costs, there's very little to pay out once you have recovered from the hefty list price. The onboard computer deliberately starts the engine and monitors fuel levels to ensure the petrol doesn't go stale. That's how often you need to fill up. Due to the heavy kerbweight, the Ampera might go through tyres quicker than a normal car, but if that is the only consumable then it's still friendly on your bank account.
Vauxhall Ampera – Comfort
The futuristic dashboard and comfy front seats are a real pleasure for driver and passenger. Rear seat occupants have their own individual seats and no middle seat, as that's where the battery sits. The rear seats can pinch large passengers slightly but overall the cabin is comfortable.
Vauxhall Ampera – Prototype
The only Ampera that is available at the moment is the £750,000 prototype, but it is finished to customer specification. The quality is incredibly high, a Vauxhall trait. The materials used inside and out look like they will last as long as the galvanised steel body, which is good news.
Vauxhall Ampera – Performance
The sensation of driving an electric car may seem odd at first as there is barely any sound emitted and instant power. The electric motor pumps out 273 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to climb rock faces! The only drawback is the huge kerbweight, which means it can only muster a nine-second dash to 60mph. Top speed is 100mph but in reaching this speed, the battery quickly depletes itself and the petrol engine springs into life.
Vauxhall Ampera – Practicality
It's a usable family car with two separate rear seats and two large front seats, and being based on the Astra, the Vauxhall Ampera is practical. The boot is large, but no official figures have been released on the exact size yet.
Vauxhall Ampera – Handling
For a large, heavy car, the Vauxhall Ampera handles surprisingly well. With the help of Lotus, which tune the suspension, the big car is keen to turn in and only when pushed too hard will scrubby understeer show through.