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  • 2010 LEXUS ES 350 + 2011 APTERA 2E

    2010 LEXUS ES 350

    The 2010 Lexus ES 350 gets freshened interior and exterior styling and new features. ES is essentially a luxury version of the Toyota Camry. The sole powertrain teams a 272-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, front- and rear-side airbags, and front-knee airbags

    Lexus’ Pre-Collision System, which readies airbags, seatbelts, and brakes when sensors detect a skid or imminent crash is optional. Newly standard are rain-sensing windshield wipers and a driver-seat memory system. Also standard are a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and keyless entry/engine start. Heated and ventilated front seats and a voice-activated navigation system are optional.

    The optional Ultra-Luxury Package includes features such as a panoramic sunroof, specific interior trim, power rear sunshade, and a passenger-seat memory system. Newly standard is Lexus’ Safety Connect, which includes collision notification, stolen vehicle location, emergency assistance, and enhanced roadside assistance. In addition to Safety Connect, models equipped with the navigation system include Lexus Enform, which has customizable navigation destinations that owners can program on their home computers and send directly to the vehicle.

    2011 APTERA 2E

    2011 Aptera 2e launched Aptera Motors still plans to limit its initial run of 2e models to California-based costumers. The 2e’s 82 Kw electric motor is oversized for the vehicle and the top speed has been limited to 90 mph for efficiency’s sake. Backed up by a 20 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion nano-phosphate battery that can be completely discharged safely, the electric motor reportedly makes 110 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque, which now goes to the front wheels through a single-speed Borg Warner transaxle (earlier prototypes were rear-wheel drive).

    Behind the seats, the Aptera offers a surprisingly large cargo area that can swallow 22.75 cubic-feet of your stuff if you’re willing to completely obscure the rear window. Aptera’s people popped open the rear hatch to reveal two sets of golf clubs and four medium-sized bags with room to spare. It’s an impressive feat, considering both the battery pack and the rear suspension are mounted below the cargo floor.

    Back inside, two LCD screens are set into the Alcantara-wrapped dash and handle nearly all of the car’s functions, save the heating and air conditioning. A screen in front of the driver displays all the gauges digitally while a screen in the center console handles information, entertainment and navigation. A BMW iDrive controller has been repurposed as a gear selector, and the 2e gains power windows.

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