Details emerge on Next Autoworks’ 2012 compact car

Filed under: Budget, Etc., Hatchback, Design/Style

Next Autoworks

Next Autoworks, nee V-Vehicles, recently hired CEO Kathleen Ligocki to shepherd its planned 2012 car through to production. The design of the car itself was overseen by Tom Matano, who penned the original Mazda Miata and the 1993 RX-7. Matano recently shared some of the compact car’s details with Automotive News, which describes it as a “utilitarian five-door hatchback… a cross between a Nissan Leaf and a Lada Niva.”

The car’s build sounds just as intriguing: a spaceframe with non-load-bearing body panels attached. Countering a build process that is pricey by segment standards, costs are kept down by interchangeable door panels and taillight assemblies. Matano suggested he was after “an advanced concept car that would look like something by Ikea.” It all sounds like it could go quite right or very wrong, but before it can build anything, Next Autoworks needs to have its request for funds from the Department of Energy approved.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]

Details emerge on Next Autoworks’ 2012 compact car originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 27 Nov 2010 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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V-Vehicles resurfaces as Next Autoworks in California

Filed under: Specialty

V-Vehicles teaser

V-Vehicles started making noises back in 2006 about building an environmentally friendly car that ran on compressed natural gas, and doing it here in the U.S. The company is backed by oilman billionaire T. Boone Pickens and the VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the latter of which also backs Fisker. Its head designer is Tom Matano of Mazda Miata and RX-7 fame. In May of this year, Pickens was still talking about the car being on the way, even though all anyone’s ever seen of it is a few teased angles, like the headlight above.

It looks like things are finally getting serious, though. V-Vehicles had planned to build its car in a former General Motors plant in Louisiana, but that fell through. Now the company’s been rechristened Next Autoworks and the top spot has been taken by Kathleen Ligocki, whose resume includes top positions at Ford, Tower Automotive and Mexico’s GS Salinas. It’ll probably be a while before Next is in a position to announce anything, but with an experienced auto and turnaround veteran in the lead, they’ve got a much better chance of hanging around at all.

[Source: Inside Line]

V-Vehicles resurfaces as Next Autoworks in California originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Oct 2010 17:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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