Venturi has debuted an all-new concept here at the 2008 Paris Motor Show: the Venturi Volage. The Volage takes the electric sports car concept and really runs with it — the all carbon-fiber car is equipped with the first application we've seen of the Michelin Active Wheel, the compact unit using in-wheel electric drive motors is installed at all four corners with a suspension driven by a second set of e-motors. The whole thing can be configured for any desired ride at the touch of a... uh, touch screen. According to Venturi, the Volage is actually expected to be produced in limited numbers in the 2012 model year, assembled by hand at its shops in Monaco. If this is true, it'll totally make the Tesla Roadster look like last decade's model (cause it will be by then). Press release and more images below.
WORLD PREMIERES The result of close technological collaboration between Venturi Automobiles and Michelin, the Venturi Volage, presented for the first time at the “Mondial 2008” (Paris Motor Show), marks a major step forward in the evolution of the Automobile. This new Venturi incorporates innovations which have enabled radical changes in terms of the vehicle’s architecture, style, dynamic behaviour and, more generally, the design of a modern vehicle. All these changes constitute several world premières which, with the presentation of the Venturi Volage, reinforce Venturi’s capability for constant innovation, as well as its position as the most advanced company in the field of electric vehicles. POWER TRANSMISSION & ACTIVE SUSPENSION With 4 drive wheels with active suspension, the Venturi Volage has no equivalent. “Michelin Active Wheel” technology in fact incorporates 2 electric motors per wheel (1 for suspension and 1 for drive), ie. a total of 8 electric motors piloted in real time by spearhead electronics. Like the mechanism of a watch, all the components, motors, gear reduction units and suspensions, are miniaturized and built into the wheels. The active electric shock absorber system allows for total adaptation to the type of road surface and driving. Combining Michelin’s experience in the area of surface liaison with that of Venturi for the chassis, the Venturi Volage represents in its road holding, drivability and silent functioning, the sum of today’s automotive technology. THE CAR OF THE DIGITAL ERA Playing down the mechanical aspect in favor of electronics, close to the concept of a robot, this car belongs to a new era, the digital era. Thanks to a dashboard touch screen, the driver can configure the vehicle entirely as he wishes. This total control marks significant progress in terms of management, particularly of the energy stored in the car’s batteries: the driver can, for example, decide to give preference in certain cases to range rather than power, comfort rather than speed, an important factor for an electric car. A CHASSIS UNIQUE WORLDWIDE The only part that the Venturi Volage shares with the Venturi Fétish is its carbon fiber bodywork. Developed by the Venturi Design Office, this body is still a unique concept worldwide, as it is the only one to have been specifically designed to be that of an electric car and thus carry batteries within its very structure. Thanks to this innovative design, both the Fétish and the Volage benefit from an unequalled level of safety, for both the cars’ passengers and also the batteries they carry. The ideal distribution of the Venturi Volage’s masses - 45% at the front, 55% at the rear – and its perfectly mastered weight of 1,075 kilos enable it to attain 100 km/hr (62 mph) in less than 5 seconds. PRODUCTION MODELS A real demonstration of spearhead technology, the car presented in its world première is entirely operational and prefigures the production of a limited series of this model, scheduled as from 2012. Like the Venturi Fétish assembled in our workshops in Monaco, the Venturi Volage will be assembled by hand, in the form of very limited production. The technological repercussions of these two cars positioned at the very top end of the market are to be found on other vehicles bearing the Venturi brand, enabling as many people as possible to benefit from the firm’s advances in the field of sustainable mobility. DESIGN OF VOLAGE, BY SACHA LAKIC “Like a light and sensual veil, the Volage’s bodywork clings close to its exceptional technical features. Active suspensions and motors incorporated into the wheels, a flat bottom, aerodynamic tunnels: these choices and technological advances have enabled me to “design the void” usually occupied by the engine and suspensions, and thus explore audacious new paths in terms of styling. The void is part of the Volage style; it has been designed by subtraction. Volage has been fashioned by the wind. The science of aerodynamics is the main tool that has been used to elaborate its shape. It is easy and enjoyable to imagine the movement of flows of air, on and across its bodywork. Volage finds itself in a totally original and decidedly contemporary formal category. The relationship with Venturi’s other models is obvious, though it is also possible to see, in a few details, a subtle tribute to certain icons among French cars of the pre-war era, the most elegant, the ones that were way before their time. Volage inspires passion: its powers of seduction are immense.”