Citroen Gives Go-Ahead on E-Mehari
Renault has the Twizy, Daimler has the smartfortwo ED, now Citroen will have its own funky all-electric four-wheeler, the E-Mehari. First revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, the company just announced that it will put the four-seat, cabriolet into production as early as 2016.
The original gas-powered Mehari was first introduced in 1968, at the height of the psychedelic era and Vietnam war protest movement. It's introduction mirrored the rollout of Volkswagen's quite similar-looking 'Thing' that same year. The Mehari was designed to appeal to the youth culture of the time introducing body panels of ABS plastic in four colors: blue, yellow, beige, and orange. It was powered by the same flat-twin in the famed C2V. By 1980, Citroen had added a four-wheel drive version. Production ended in 1988, again the same year VW ceased production of the Model 181, AKA, 'Thing,' which itself was based on the WWII Type 82 Kübelwagen, the German Wehrmacht's answer to the American Jeep
The nee E-Mehari will be all-electric with a range said to be up to 200 km (124 mi). Top speed is 109.4 km/h (68 mph). The battery system will come from Bolloré, producers of the electric BlueCar used by Paris' Autolib and Indianapolis' BlueIndy carshare programs. Production of the E-Mehari will take place at PSA Peugeot Citroen's Rennes, France assembly plant. The company has not yet announced pricing or availability, though it can be assumed it will not be brought to the USA anytime soon.
In the psychedelic spirit of the original Mehari, Citroen produced the following promotional video for the E-Mehari.
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