Japanese engineering company AIM (totally unrelated to the ill-fated AOL Instant Messenger from 20 years ago) revealed its first all-electric passenger car known as the AIM EV Sport 01 during this year’s Automobile Council in Japan.
The two-door sports car’s design was penned by none other than Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s former senior vice president and chief creative officer who signed off on the designs for models like the latest-generation GT-R, Leaf, Murano, and Cube. Additionally, before joining Nissan, Nakamura was responsible for design at Isuzu, where he penned the Vehicross and Gemini.
In other words, it’s safe to say that AIM’s new sports EV has a reputable designer behind it and it shows. With a bit of Nissan 350Z at the front and some Porsche Carrera GT hints at the back, the EV Sport 01 looks sleek and purposeful.
Gallery: AIM EV Sport 01
And judging by the early specs released by AIM, the little two-seater should hold its own on the road against more well-known rivals, with two electric motors that make a combined 600 horsepower and a weight of just 3,306 pounds (1,500 kilograms), courtesy of a carbon fiber body that measures less than 13 feet (4 meters) long.
The high-voltage battery that powers the Sport 01 enables an estimated maximum driving range of roughly 186 miles (300 kilometers), but the Japanese brand stopped short of offering the capacity of the pack.
Established in 1998 in Nagoya, Japan, AIM focuses on general automotive development and is best known for engineering engines for endurance races, most notably for the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans. But seeing how the automotive industry is rapidly transitioning to an all-electric future, and considering that AIM already had an electric motor developed for London buses, the Japanese company reached out to Shiro Nakamura to design a body for its all-electric chassis.
“After achieving certain results at Le Mans, we jointly developed a motor with a British company in anticipation of the arrival of the EV era, and it was used in London buses,” said Yukinori Suzuki, AIM’s representative director. “We developed the chassis. Instead of focusing on acceleration performance like today’s EV sports cars, we pursued the fun of driving by controlling the torque vector and turning.”
As the first installment in the company’s New Energy Vehicle (NEV) project, the EV Sport 01 will most likely be a low-volume product with an above-average price tag. Nevertheless, it’s exciting to see that small companies have the desire to enter the world of EVs with stylish, performance-oriented models.
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