If you're thinking what I'm thinking, then you're probably looking at this picture and wondering, "What the hell happened to that Yaris?" Well, it hasn't been in a horrific accident. It's not even a Yaris (despite the fact that the nose looks identical to one.) What you see pictured here is the Arcimoto Pulse, a three-wheeled, two-seated electric car.
To be fair, I'm not even 100-percent sure that this thing even exists. The only photos on Arcimoto's Web site look heavily doctored and a few of the specs (most notably the range) are marked with asterisks that don't actually point to footnotes.
The Pulse should be powered by a 96-volt DC electric motor that twists the solitary rear wheel to the tune of 80 pound-feet. Range is between 50 and 100 miles and is, presumably, very dependent upon how heavy your right foot is. With a standard 110-volt power source, recharging the Pulse's batteries will take an estimated 6 hours.
Like all electric cars these days, the Pulse gets its requisite obscenely large miles per gallon rating (190+ mpg in this case) despite the fact that, as an EV, it doesn't even have a fuel tank. Seriously automakers, stop doing that. Counting imaginary gallons makes you look dumb.
The Pulse's narrow body requires tandem seating, but it's open front-wheel configuration seems to keep the footprint wide enough to be stable in the turns. I'm assuming that the lowish 55 mph top speed keeps the exposed rotating tires from being too much of a wind resistance issue.
Pricing hasn't been set in stone yet, but Arcimoto is aiming to keep the sticker price "under $20,000." I'll believe it when I see it, but--according to Arcimoto's own preorder counter--at least 10 souls have seen fit to plunk down their $500 reservation fee ($450 of which is refundable). The first 300 Pulses are due late 2010.