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by Brett Davis

Students at the Technical University of Munich will unveil a special concept called the MUTE at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The MUTE features a super-futuristic body and a fully electric powertrain.

The concept has been developed with a focus on being an affordable electric vehicle. It features a single 16.2kW electric motor sending power to the rear-wheels via a torque-vectoring differential. Power is supplied by a 10kWh lithium-ion battery.

According to the developers, the MUTE will be capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in around 6.8 seconds thanks to its lightweight construction. The overall weight of the car is 500kg, made up of 400kg for the body and 100kg for the battery.

The funny-shaped EV rides on low-rolling resistance tyres measuring just 115/70 R16. Even though they are very narrow for a car, developers say prototypes have completed the ISO Lane Change Test “better than a most conventional medium-sized automobiles”.

The MUTE also features an interesting Electronic Stability Control program and braking system. Under normal conditions, an electric generator slows the car feeding power back into the battery. When heavier braking is required, the ESC comes into play and activates the conventional disc brake and caliper setup. Project driving dynamics leader and test driver Michael Graf recently said,

“MUTE falls into the top 25 per cent of existing medium-sized vehicles when it comes to driving dynamics and is absolutely easy to handle. MUTE achieves a high level of safety through ESC and torque vectoring”

The MUTE will be on display from September 15-25 at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.




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