Newcomer set to debut electric super car to take on Tesla

A Korean firm is to debut a new electric super car later this year, promising performance which will exceed that of the current market leader Tesla.

Leo Motors, a little known manufacturer based in Korea, said this week that its LZ-1 supercar is being readied for a debut in 2011, having been perfected during the five-year development process.

Built from carbon fibre and aluminium alloy, it promises impressive performance - speeds of up to 161 miles per hour (259 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) speed of 2.9 seconds, making it one of the fastest EVs - and indeed cars - on the planet.

Even more impressive is its claimed 249-mile (400 km) range, which is the same as of that of the Tesla Roadster, despite the LZ-1 having marginally better performance specifications.

Also in the works is an extended-range hybrid model, the LZ-1H, which uses hydrogen and LPG to fuel a generator that can extend the electric car's range to 560 miles (900 km).

Details are currently sketchy, and official pictures haven't been released, but a new competitor would make the green supercar market even more interesting, especially following the recent entrance of the Fisker Karma to challenge Tesla's supremacy.

Silicon Valley's Tesla, for its part, shows no sign of slowing, releasing some new shots of its latest vehicle, the Model S electric sedan, last weekend.

The new shots look considerably less sporty than the Roadster, with Tesla instead opting for a sleek hood, large front grill and sweeping roofline.

The Model S is slated for a release in 2012.