Exagon Furtive eGT: France’s Electric Luxo-Coupe

By · February 23, 2011

Exagon Furtive eGT

The Exagon Furtive eGT is a beautiful car. It’s a car that I'm proud of because it's French—but any auto enthusiast anywhere in the world would like it.

The Furtive eGT is a sleek coupe with four seats. It's about the same size as a Chevrolet Camaro, but its design is not as muscular as the American car. It has a European more subtle flair. It's not as eye-catching as the Fisker Karma, but certainly as nice as the upcoming Tesla Model S—nicer in my eyes—with the added sportiness of being a two-door.

What matters to us is that it has an electric drivetrain. The Furtive eGT doesn't have any competition. Maybe Tesla will make a two-door version of its Model S, but as of today, this is the first electric luxo-coupe in the world.

You may wonder where it comes from as Exagon Engineering has never sold a road car before, even though this company has been in the car manufacturing business for many years. They've been building racecars! Exagon is the manufacturer of all the cars competing in the "Trophée Andros Electrique," a winter championship for sprint car racing. All cars are electric; all races are in France; and it’s run during winter for good reason: The cars race on ice. It's more about sliding than about driving but it's a lot of fun.

Exagon builds all the cars competing in the "Trophée Andros Electrique," France's electric car race on ice.

From this experience, we know two things. Exagon knows how to make an electric car that can go fast and handle well. That’s to be expected, because Exagon's offices are located next to the Magny-Cours racetrack. That makes it very different from Tesla. Teslas are born in the Silicon Valley, while the Furtive eGT was born on a racetrack.

Yet, Exagon doesn't know how to manufacture electric motors, and they have no plans to do so. They buy batteries and motors from suppliers, which they're not afraid to name, because they are among the best in the industry. Batteries will come from Saft, a leading French manufacturer. They build the batteries that go into the French Army submarines. Those are batteries that can last many, many years, and they've already entered the automotive sector. Saft is manufacturing the lithium-ion battery of the Mercedes S400 hybrid, in a joint venture with Johnson Controls.

Exagon Furtive eGT

The motor manufacturer has an even more impressive background. It comes from Siemens, the huge German conglomerate. The first AC alternator to power street lighting from a renewable source (a watermill) was made by Siemens, some 130 years ago. Siemens has been making the electric motors for German high-speed trains since then, and they have a huge knowledge base about anything electric. They also have extensive resources to make things better.

The Exagon Furtive eGT has two motors, each making 125 kW for a total of 340 horsepower at 10,000 rpm. These are very high voltage AC motors—700 volts to be precise. Super powerful and super efficient, these Siemens motors maybe the best on the market. They should enable the Exagon to cover the quarter-mile in the low 12s. Hey, this is a serious electric car! Top speed is a theoretical 178 mph, but there should be a electronic limiter on the production model.

Exagon Furtive eGT

So can it be real? Yes. The car was unveiled last year to great acclaim, and the company already has a few orders. More important, they have enough capital to complete the car's development. We should see it driving this year. True, the Exagon will be a very expensive car, more than 120,000 euros—that’s more than $160,000—but it may be the best performing electric car. With a 50 kWh battery, range is advertised at 122 miles driving at a constant 81 mph speed (130 kph). It could go up to more than 250 miles in slower driving. The engineers are already talking of a small gasoline engine working as a range extender to double that. What's not to like?

The first car with a gasoline engine was built in Paris by Etienne Lenoir in 1860. It's good to see France again at the forefront of automotive technology.

Comments

· · 3 years ago

It's good to see a European EV that's a real car.
Do they have plans, like Tesla does, to grow down into the mainstream or will this remain a luxury company?

· Priusmaniac (not verified) · 3 years ago

Is this advertisement for a car or a piece of wild French nationalism? The car looks great but the description is so overstating and pompous that it doesn’t help sympathy. Let’s get back to the ground and simply acknowledge that it is a new EV car opportunity on the market. Which is always positive although the high price segment is starting be overcrowded, while the cheaper affordable segment still lacks diversity if not simply a first buy opportunity.

· · 3 years ago

Q: "What's not to like?"
A: $160,000.

Still, it's great to see more and more companies throwing their hats into the EV ring, and there markets for all price points as long as the vehicle can justify the price tag.

· · 3 years ago

"a piece of wild French nationalism"? It's simply a beautiful car, and I like it. Then I met the guys behind it, and they're nice people, so I'm enthusiastic.

We need excitement. The Nissan Leaf has great technology, but it looks dull. Same thing for the electric Renaults, besides their electric powertrain, they're boring cars. Check the video: it shows that electric cars can be fun! I'm supporting that.

About more affordable cars from Exagon, we have to give them time. Tesla started in 2003, they need another year before they start selling a car for less than $100,000.

· · 3 years ago

@Laurent,
What are Exagon's plans though? Tesla has been reinvesting a lot of their money into the Model S to back up their talk (http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-bet...), almost from the very beginning. Today, nearly 100% of their proceeds from Roadster sales and all of their investment capital is going into it.
I'm wondering if Exagon plans to be a Tesla or just another Venturi (http://www.hybridcars.com/electric-cars/venturi-fetish.html) or Rolls-Royce.
As an early Roadster owner, that made a huge difference in my willingness to shell out my money for their car. I could easily buy an adequate sports car for less than a Roadster but, in addition to proving what an EV could be, Tesla was even more.

· JRP3 (not verified) · 3 years ago

Nice looking body, and lots of hype. I'll wait and see what is actually delivered.

· · 3 years ago

Q: "What's not to like?"
A: $160,000.
A2: A production car for sale

And the rest of what Tom said. Good to see, for sure. And we hear a lot about EVs that are almost for sale.

· · 3 years ago

I can't talk on the behalf of Exagon, but I don't think they want to emulate anyone, Tesla or Venturi. They are about to launch their first car, and from what I understood, they are reasonable people, I mean that they don't want to work on many projects all at the same time. They will bring their first car to market, when that is done, and if it sells, they will think and talk about another car.

I'll add they are (like most european companies) very down to earth, and they don't overpromise like BYD or Tesla have done many times. The plan is to make a good product, that customers would enjoy. That's already a big challenge!

· · 3 years ago

@Laurent,
I guess you're saying that they are just another boutique, high-end luxury company.
Too bad.

· Fernando (not verified) · 3 years ago

Laurent, look this news:

Renault Twizy in USA and Asia like Nissan

http://www.nortecastilla.es/v/20110224/economia/nissan-vendera-asia-twiz...

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