2010 Dodge Circuit EV

If you recall Chrysler's PR coup from this past summer, you'll likely remember the Dodge EV - a two-seat electric sports car that was reportedly a demonstration of Chrysler's forthcoming electric technology. You'll then realize the 2010 Dodge Circuit, unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, is essentially the same car.

Though it wears a new coat of tangerine paint and a cute electrical double-entendre name (Charger, it seems, was already taken), the Circuit is obviously the EV's twin - albeit with a few tweaks. The most notable modification lies with the front fascia, where designers added the Dodge four-bar grille in an attempt to disguise the Circuit's Lotus origins. The remainder of the car - headlamps included - is carried over from Lotus' Europa, which keen-eyed sports car enthusiasts will certainly notice.

Underhood, things haven't changed since we first saw the Dodge EV. The Circuit still uses a 200 kW (268 hp) electric motor, which produces a whopping 480 lb-ft of torque. Chrysler claims that torque lets the Circuit hit 0-60 mph in less than five seconds, and a quarter-mile time of 13 seconds. Top end is reportedly more than 120 mph.

Powering that motor is a lithium-ion battery pack, mounted just behind the cabin. Chrysler's mum on the technical details here, but says the batteries will provide enough power for a 150 to 200 mile range. Recharging can be done in four hours via a 220-volt outlet, or in eight hours with a standard 110-volt household outlet.

Chrysler says all of its ENVI concepts - the Circuit included - are production intent and could reach dealers by 2013. That said, we wonder how much of a market exists for a low-volume, high-cost electric roadster built in part by Lotus. Just ask Tesla Motors...

To read more about the 2010 Dodge Circuit EV, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.

For complete coverage of the 2009 Detroit auto show, click HERE.

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