Debuting in Geneva, this is Magna Steyr's 'flat-packed' alternative drive platform for manufacturers seeking the all-important 'green' vehicle onto forecourts asap. Five-doors and available specifiable in at least four drivetrain technologies.

Magna Steyr, Austrian-based contracted vehicle manufacturer, present the Mila EV at Geneva this week, a car touted as the infinitely applicable to the everyday. And that starts in all its relevance with the drivetrain but equally importantly with its role as a template. That template makes the Mila EV a fully integrated electric vehicle platform suitable for adaptation by manufacturers in pursuit of their own product, drive and design strategies.

Home to the expertise in system integration built up over many years, complete-systems provider Magna Steyr of Magna International, Canada, offer the industry a platform requiring no further development and a concept optimised for alternative drive technology, be it electric power or natural gas, fuel cells or hybrid drive. Its immediate availability shortens lead production times and with Magna Steyr at the helm as manufacturing partner, all versions can be made on Magna's well-proven Flex Plant concept single production line.

The Mila EV study show car has been imagined as a B-segment vehicle of around 4m in length with a 2.5m wheelbase. Its design aims for graceful futurism, the line connecting front headlamps with the side windows providing a slick design element while reverse-view cameras that account for the lack of bulky, conventional side mirrors streamline aerodynamics.

The running sensor strip traversing the side simultaneously serves as design feature, door opener and "fuel gauge" - visibly announcing current battery levels. Roof-mounted solar cell panels generate additional energy, providing power to a 67 hp lithium-ion powered electric motor - designed in-house by Magna Steyr - that returns a range of up to 150 km on a 2.5 hour charge.

The Mila EV debut follows news out of Detroit in January that Ford have signed contracts with Magna on the co-operation on a new electric vehicle - the first to be developed with a manufacturer partner in-house by Magna Steyr. Ford's new electric vehicle is however said to be based on the Focus platform and not on the Mila EV, seeing light in 2011.

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