At the March Geneva Motorshow, Toyota introduced the Volta concept car. Named after Alessandro Volta who invented the battery in 1800, the high-performance sports car uses a derivative of Toyotas Hybrid Synergy Drive with an electric motor for each axle. The Giugiaro-designed carbon-fiber body seats three people abreast and features drive-by-wire controls, allowing you to position the steering wheel and pedals in front of any one of them.
Ultimatecarpage provides a detailed writeup.
Toyota furnished to Italdesign-Giugiaro a derivative of its ultimate hybrid system, the one adopted on the Lexus RX 400. On the Volta, the 3.3 liter V6 petrol engine is fitted behind the rear axle and not connected directly to the wheels. Indeed, motion is ensured by two electrically powered engines, one per axle thereby securing all-wheel drive and enhanced safety. As such, this epoch-making mechanical layout paves the way to eliminating the traditional transmission and gearbox longitudinal encumbrance.
Indeed, operating electronics enable the power transmitted by the electric motors to the wheels to be modulated, thereby rendering superfluous the gear/clutch unit. Housed under the lightweight, carbon-fiber chassis, designed and engineered by the Italdesign Giugiaro technical department, are the batteries, weighing 70 kg. Result: significantly leaner weight, balanced and encompassed between the axles, 408 HP output, top speed limited at 250 km/h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km coming in 4.03 seconds.
Wired puts the Volta in its fetish catgeory.