Exide Corp. unveils the Orbital Select, a premium lead-acid battery that claims to give more starting power and longer life. Exide Chief Executive Robert A. Lutz is calling it "the Dodge Viper of car batteries."

The new 12V battery uses tightly rolled, spiral instead of flat, plates placed into six cylindrical cells, giving it enhanced vibration resistance. And the electrolyte is not free-floating, instead bound in paste-like form among the separators, so the battery is leakproof.

The Orbital also recombines hydrogen generated in the battery and oxygen into water, so it never needs refilling, and doesn't emit gases. Therefore, the battery, manufactured in Spain, can be mounted in any position and in any part of the vehicle.

Mr. Lutz forecasts aftermarket sales of the new battery of about 200,000 per year. Consumers who own cars that go unused for months and don't want to worry about complete discharge are the targeted market for the $125 to $130 Orbital. Exide also says that the Orbital lasts 20 months longer than typical lead-acid batteries.

Mr. Lutz boasts that, "Nobody has more advanced technology than Exide."