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Author Topic: Revival of Matra cars?  (Read 9026 times)
Anders Dinsen
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« on: May 01, 2006, 08:44:58 am »

The guys from MATRA seems to have something going with electrical cars - late March they annonced a coorporation with the american GEM company for manufacturing of their cars in Romoratin for the European market. The plant they use is not the old plant, it seems, and management of the business is based in Paris, but still it's interesting that they want to stay in the automotive business. And this is not the Pininfarina people, it's still the Legadere group.

It's also interesting that they beleive in electrical cars - though only as a manufacturing and marketing company for other peoples creations, but this may mean that they are on a path to something bigger. How about a revival of the P72 concept, but with electrical engine? Time will tell.

I found out about this by reading on http://www.matra-ms.com/ (don't miss their shop - or the 'English' link!)

More info on GEM cars is on
http://www.gemcar.com/ - they have some interesting creations, e.g. their 6 person electrical car, the e6 - this is almost a micro-Espace, though it's open designs makes it useful only in southern parts of Europe!
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006, 05:48:45 pm »

Yes, - it could be the Zoom project group :-)
I only wish the GEM was as pretty as the Zoom, but maybe the next version will. And personally I would be thrilled if they also picked up the m72 ... that car was *such* a great idea, and so close to production.

Slightly more info here too: http://www.matrasport.dk/history.html#Matra-MS  :-)

I haven't decided wether to add the GEM car to the galleries, - is it a Matra or isn't it ?

/Lennart
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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2006, 04:05:54 pm »

I haven't decided wether to add the GEM car to the galleries, - is it a Matra or isn't it ?

It is not a Matra design, it comes from an american company in the Daimler Chrysler group (sic!).
But you can already now buy yourself a MatraSport (how shall I put it? ehm...) *means of transport*. They have revived the MatraSport brand and it is now being used on the electric bicycles!!
Maybe they are planning to promot a Le Mans 24 hour race series for electric bicycles Huh
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 10:24:35 pm »

They have revived the MatraSport brand and it is now being used on the electric bicycles!!

yes, and their "Executive Vice President" has sent me this:

Quote
...
Where we present the first MATRA SPORTS production super light electric bicycle,
the  I-step.   After having presented last year the MATRA SPORTS Collector model, the MS1.

The M72 Project will not be introduced in the marketplace by Matra, considering we have withdrawn from the automobile sector, to concentrate on light electric vehicle in the future.
This does not mean it cannot be fun and sporty.
Wait and see...

MATRA MS is the new name of Matra automobile company, and support the heritage
and challenging values of matra sports since 1964.

MATRA SPORTS
next step...


"wait and see", - and "next step" does sound promising.

/Lennart
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2006, 11:35:59 am »

"to concentrate on light electric vehicle in the future."

Does not sound promising though...
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2006, 01:28:57 pm »

No I don't think we will see anything smart and sporty, it's more likely to be practical and economic. There's probably no market for small sports cars - Smart had to pull the plug on the roadster, though I understand it was in many ways a very good car. But it could be fun it Matra would show us a roadster concept with an electric engine...... Lotus has some success with the legendary Elise as a minimalist sports car, so it *can* be done - but even the Opel Speedster was partly a market failure and has also been pulled off the market..... no, it's a rough business. Our wives want practical cars and as we all know, they are the ones really in charge of our money ;-)

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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2006, 07:10:37 pm »

Matra MS emphasise 'lightness' in all their discussion of electric vehicles.

As all electric vehicles to date  - excluding the Venturi Fetish - have been ugly and heavy then maybe, just maybe, Matra know something about building lightweight batteries and they certainly  know how to design attractive vehicles.

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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2006, 06:06:50 pm »

As all electric vehicles to date  - excluding the Venturi Fetish - have been ugly and heavy

Well, the TeslaMotors new car ( http://www.teslamotors.com ) is not very ugly - as it is basically a Lotus Elise with some nifty eletric power. They claim some impressive performance figures.

How about a similar eletric version of the M25 ...

/Lennart

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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2006, 05:19:23 pm »

Well, the TeslaMotors new car ( http://www.teslamotors.com ) is not very ugly - as it is basically a Lotus Elise with some nifty eletric power. They claim some impressive performance figures.

I didn't know about that project before... it looks like they are piggy-backing their marketing on Al Gores new movie quite severely!

Their hype claims that the engine can be lifted out of the car by a grown up person - the weight should be around 30-40 kgs, and then they compare that to the heavy piston engines....... but they forget to tell us that they've got 450 kgs!!!! of batteries to go along with the engine. Wouw that's a lot to have sitting behind your back in a crash. It must be a strengthend Elise chassis. And the weight is "about 2500 pounds", which is more than 1100 kgs - so they are definitely heavier than the starting point - 680 kgs as far as I remember, and that is even with a "heavy" piston engine inside.

Anyway, it's an interesting project, and for the use that you have of a roadster like an Elise (have fun, get wind in your hair, take it to a track etc), an electric powerplant is a splendid idea, I think!

But the american rhetoric (it seems to be a political project too!) hasn't really caught us yet over here in Europe. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the coming years!

- Anders
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