Ferdinand Porche's great-great-grandson is making a 600 hp electric sports car
It's called the Piech GT and it's expected to be launched in mid-2024
When you're a direct descendant of one of the most legendary automotive engineers of all time, there's quite a bit of expectation that goes along with it. That's not something that seems to have dissuaded Ferdinand Piech too much with his plans to make his own mark on the car industry. He's founded his own company (called Piech Automotive, after his family name) and he's been developing an all-new electric sports car for a while now. The initial concept, tentatively called the Mark Zero, was shown to the world at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and it was a big standout there. With its timeless and clean design, a projected power output of 400 hp and a projected range of over 300 miles, it's pretty easy to see why that was the case!
Now though, Piech Automotive has revealed a version of the car that's a lot closer to production. Now called the Piech GT, it retains a lot of the styling cues of the Mark Zero concept but with a lot more drivetrain development. Piech Automotive claims that it's had a "significant innovation" in this area since the concept first debuted. It has the same tri-motor drivetrain setup (one motor at the front axle and two at the rear) as the original concept, but it's now claimed to have a power output of 600 hp. That's a massive 200 hp improvement over the Mark Zero concept! It's also something that'll make it much more potent in the sports car market, putting it in direct competition in terms of power with the most powerful end of the supercar spectrum.
The clever engineering doesn't end with the powertrain boost, either. By using compact pouch cell technology (something that had been intended to be used in the original concept as well), the Piech GT tips the scales at a shade under 4,000 lbs. That's a relatively low weight for an EV! With that relatively low weight, Piech Automotive is promising that the GT will have "typical sports car handling" as well as enabling it to accelerate from 0-62 mph in less than 3 seconds. It may not be as rapid in a straight line as Tesla's upcoming tri-motor offerings, but its lower weight should make it be able to carry its speed incredibly well into the corners.
Piech Automotive has also thought a lot about the whole business of charging a car, something that's still a bugbear of EV ownership now. The company claims that the GT will be able to be charged from 0-80% in eight minutes through the use of a CC2S fast charger. That sounds like a pretty impossible number still, but Piech Automotive is working in collaboration with the tech company TGOOD to develop a charger that will be able to fulfil this requirement. When the GT is fully charged up, it'll be able to run for a claimed range of 310 miles (500 km).
The Piech GT's development seems to be in good hands. A team led by Klaus Schmidt, the former head of BMW's M division, will be building a second prototype. This prototype will be ready to go out for testing by March 2022. Additional test cars will be built and run between 2022 and 2023, being sent out to various different locations to test its performance in extreme conditions as well as on racetracks such as the Nurburgring. Once all that's done, the car is planned to be launched in Europe, China and the US in mid-2024.
The GT isn't the end of Piech Automotive's plans, however. The company wants to build a whole range of EVs. This (predictably) will include an SUV, as well as a saloon model and maybe even a convertible and a pickup truck too. These could all be based on the same platform as the GT, as its platform has been deliberately designed to be modular and adaptable to various different types of cars.
Could the Piech GT be a success? It certainly seems so. This all has the air of a company that knows what it's doing. Having a former head of the M division in charge of building and testing the prototypes is a very good step. We can't forget either about the fact that it's another automotive venture from a member of the Piech family, who know a thing or two about how to build great cars and create and maintain great car companies. Plus, it's a great looking car too that has more than a hint of Porsche (obviously!) and Aston Martin about it. If Piech Automotive manages to get it completely spot on, the GT could be a real game-changer in the market for high-performance EVs.