11th of 20
“The styling could pass as the new Corvette” is what my friend said when I offered him a ride in the Ecoplus I had just begun my test drive in. And he was right. While quite simply styled, it very much had a ‘Corvette’ look about it. But what was underneath was very, very different…
I was super impressed with what the designers attempted; a very lightweight but large sports coupe with a tiny eco turbo engine that happily revs. The body panels are thin carbon fiber, and the frame is carbon fiber as well. The wide, lightweight body and rear pushrod suspension imply that this is going to be a well handling car. And it is. The suspension uses standard springs with active shocks and sway bars, and the tune favors drifting. Which can get you into trouble, if you’re not careful. But it’s a blast! The rear 195 tires break loose pretty easily and, quite strangely, are narrower than the 205s up front; almost like they REALLY wanted it to oversteer. This design choice kind of confused me, as there was plenty of space to go wider. It was especially narrow for its price point, but I digress.
Back to the engine, what an interesting specimen! The turbo spools around 3000RPM, and the torque hold flat till about 4500, then begins to drop. But the engine can rev up to 8200RPMs! What that means with this tiny engine is that if you keep it at max torque, you can get some phenomenal fuel economy. But if you race it around, you’ll hinder it a bit, but not much. But this engine does produce verify few emissions, which is great for taxes! But in terms of fun, this little 2.0 liter V6 can propel the one ton car to 62MPH is a mere 5.6 seconds, and can hit almost 160MPH! Quite impressive.
So the Ecoplus, despite its name, makes an honest attempt to make a true sports car that meets the green party standards. And I’d say they succeeded. To top off what we’ve mentioned so far, the interior is very sporty with bolstered, aggressive seats. The entertainment system is adequate, if nothing special. The seat belts are flimsy, and there has already been an airbag recall. But the platform is sturdy in a crash, thanks to the beefy carbon fiber frame. The brakes are powerful, though the small tires limit stopping potential. Although, 62mph to 0 in 111ft is nothing to complain about. The primary downside is seating, which is only for two. The large car does have descent storage, but it is a lightweight sports car. So you’re not bringing too many people along.
Overall, this is an enjoyable, future looking sports car. It does have a few odd quirks here and there, but the package is solid. At $103,000, it’s no budget machine, but you’re paying for the exotic materials, lightness obsession, and the happy little V6 that lives inside.
The Efficient Future Rank: 11/20 @ 1500.3 points
Summary: It conformed quite well to the competitive guidelines. As we get closer to the top 10, a lot of the cars achieve the goal, but lack a standout category to bring it ahead. This car had little against it, but the small tires limited sportiness & drivability, keeping it out of the top 10.
Carskick’s Overall Subjective Score: 9.0/10
Summary: High efficiency but fun engine and an obsession with lightness make this car fun and environmentally friendly. It achieved exactly what needed to be done. Though it loses points for its undersized tires, its mediocre practicality (2 seats only), and mediocre safety capacities.