Aptera - is the car as good as the web site is bad?

2 October 2007

ApteraAptera Motors may have developed one of the world's most efficient road vehicles, but it's also responsible for one of the world's very worst web sites. Visit the firm's site to learn about any of the car's many revolutionary features and you will have to wade through pages of treacly high-bandwidth imagery in the hope of spotting an elusive “Aptericon” that will lead to a tantalising brief nugget of not-very-enlightening data. That is if the site doesn't crash your browser, or indeed crash your brain with its inanity.

The site was developed by Southern California's Saxony Web Design, a firm staffed by some people who really ought to return their fee, step away from their iMacs, and punch themselves hard in the face.

Still, this ultra-aerodynamic car sounds promising, and has progressed at least to the prototype stage. And the company is currently accepting modest deposits from US-based customers, aiming for delivery in late 2008. It is promising two variants: a battery electric vehicle with a range of 120 miles for $26,900; and a plug-in diesel-electric hybrid, where the motor runs a generator rather than driving the wheels, at $29,900.

Both variants promise to come well specified with creature comforts for the two occupants.

Like the Twike, the Aptera looks a bit like an aircraft that has carelessly lost its wings. Unlike the Twike, it doesn't ask you to top up the batteries by pedalling.

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