Aura concept car unveiled as British EV roadster of the future
Designed and built in Britain, the Aura concept offers 400-miles of range and boasts a sustainable construction
Small, two-seater roadsters are a staple of the British car industry, and over the course of the Covid-19 lockdown, four UK companies came together to envision a traditional British sports car for the electric future. This is the result: meet the Aura sports car concept.
The Aura is a drop-top driving machine that majors on sustainable construction and a tactile driving experience. The project is funded by the government's Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, which looks to support the industry-wide transition from combustion engines to electric power, though the Aura is unlikely to ever make production.
Through the Niche Vehicle Network - an independent system of low-volume vehicle manufacturers and engineers - four British suppliers combined to create the Aura in October 2020.
The Aura uses a simple, aerodynamically efficient body shape penned by Astheimer Design, and created using Computational Fluid Dynamics, to achieve optimum aero performance. The surfacing is strikingly minimalist, and the low-drag design, which includes covered rear wheels and a large rear diffuser, contributes to a claimed 400 miles of range.
The body panels are made from environmentally friendly natural composite fibres and woven fabrics, which are also much lighter than metal equivalents. These materials were devised by UK experts BAMD Composites, and the car also features a sustainable vegan leather interior.
Potenza Engineering provides the Aura's battery setup and management software. This combines two 44kWh batteries for a total capacity of 88kWh - one battery pack is mounted in the nose of the car, with the other under the floor, giving the Aura a neutral weight balance and improving handling.
The batteries power a rear-mounted electric motor that drives the rear wheels alone, although no power or performance figures have been revealed. Drive is put to the road through a set of large diameter, low-resistance wheels and tyres.
The Aura is also fitted with a cutting edge infotainment suite, designed by digital product specialist Conjure. It's the first British car to utilise Android's Automotive OS, and uses a self-levelling, steering-wheel mounted display to provide key driving information, such as weather and range, for example.
This is coupled to a larger, 10-inch central touchscreen, and the Aura can calculate the most convenient on-route charging points while on the move. The car also provides driver feedback on how to maximise range during a trip, and claims to offer extremely precise range readings - accurate to within 0.5 per cent - in a bid to reduce range anxiety.
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