Fantastic Electrics: These Are the Mega-EVs of the Near Future
The most exciting and over-the-top visions of the near future from new—and familiar—brands.
These are the most exciting and over-the-top visions of the near future from brands your grandparents may have known and loved, like Pininfarina, Hispano-Suiza, and Aston Martin's Lagonda, and new outfits you're soon to become more familiar with, like Qiantu and Rivian. And with trucks, SUVs, sedans, and supercars represented, it turns out the electrified future is likely to look a lot like the internal-combustion present.
On Sale: Sold out | Base Price: $2.8 million (est)
Supercar, hypercar, megacar—where will it end? If Koenigsegg has anything to say about it, it'll end with the 300-mph Jesko—at least until the Swedish masterminds decide to drop their next masterpiece.
Sporting a thoroughly improved, twin-turbo flat-plane V-8 engine good for 1,280 hp (1,600 hp on E85) and an all-new nine-speed multiclutch, cog-jumping Light Speed transmission designed entirely in-house, the Jesko promises not only incredible track performance but also brilliant road manners. Its Triplex suspension, now on both ends of the car, helps combat squat during acceleration and maintain ride height under the more than 2,200 pounds of downforce the Jesko can generate at speed.
A new carbon-fiber and aluminum tub that's slightly longer and higher than previous Koenigseggs yields just enough extra head- and legroom while retaining the insane rigidity required at the pointy end of performance. Four-wheel steering increases agility at low speeds and stability at high speeds, and extensive aerodynamics help glue the Jesko to the asphalt, from the monstrous rear wing to the deep splitter and even the wraparound windshield, which helps reduce lift and provide clean air to the rear wing.
But it's the creature comforts that make the Jesko really outdo the other Koenigseggs you'll meet, including a re-engineered take on the dihedral synchro-helix door hinge (say that three times fast) that makes it easier to get in and out; a cabin swathed in leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber, aluminum, and glass; and naturally, a selection of colors and materials for nearly anything should the owner choose. Driver-centric even given its grand touring intentions, the Jesko features a fully adjustable seat, steering column, and pedal box. The new SmartWheel steering wheel houses two small touchscreens, allowing for direct control of audio, phone, ride height, cruise control, and more, complete with haptic feedback.
The roughly $3 million Koenigsegg Jesko was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva show and was sold out of its entire 125-unit build run before the show had ended. Better luck with the next one!
Hispano-Suiza Carmen, Maguari
On Sale: 2021 (est) | Base Price: $1 million (est)
It's been a while since a new Hispano-Suiza roamed our fair streets. Like, a long while—the last production Hispano-Suiza rolled off the factory floor in the late 1930s. Perhaps buoyed by the success of modern Bugatti, various attempts have been made to resurrect the defunct Spanish marque famed for its ultra-luxe, high-speed cruisers. A few stillborn concepts popped up in the last decade, but more recently, two distinct startups have brought the name back. One is Germany-based Hispano Suiza Automobilmanufaktur, which unveiled the Audi R8-based Maguari HS1 GTC concept this year with 1,085 hp (it's pictured at the top of this post). However, the Barcelona-based Hispano-Suiza Cars appears to be more historically correct, considering the company's Spanish origin. That Hispano-Suiza showed off the all-electric Carmen hyper-GT (above) at this year's Geneva auto show, packing a tremendous 1,005 hp and a conservative 248 miles of range from the T-shaped battery pack. Regardless of heritage, expect a seven-figure price tag for each resurrected Hispano-Suiza—that is, if they ever reach production.
2021 Pininfarina Battista
On Sale: Now | Base Price: $2 million (est)
This is the Pininfarina Battista, and although it may look like a tarted-up Ferrari (our Robert Cumberford recently critiqued its design), it's actually based on a platform codeveloped with Croatian electric hypercar maker Rimac. Oh, and it packs nearly 1,900 hp in its sleek form. What does 1,874 hp (and 1,696 lb-ft of torque) equate to in real-world terms? The Battista can hit 60 mph in an estimated 1.9 seconds, 100 mph in 4.3 seconds, and 186 mph in 11.8 seconds. If you're the drag racing type, the quarter mile will flash by in 9.1 seconds. Despite the otherworldly acceleration stats, top speed is a rather tame (relatively speaking) 218 mph. Of course, it does that with a single gear ratio and a motor for each wheel. Pininfarina will build just 150 examples (only 50 of which are earmarked for North America) with the first deliveries coming to the U.S. in 2021.
2023 Lagonda All-Terrain
On Sale: 2022 (est) | Base Price: $175,000 (est)
Aston Martin wants Lagonda "to be the world's first zero-emissions luxury brand." If the Lagonda All-Terrain concept that bowed at the 2019 Geneva show is any indication, we're not betting against it. The concept's design takes advantage of batteries mounted low in the floor to help pull off a sleek nose effect that rakes into a tall, massive body. The greenhouse is low and tight on that body, recalling Aston Rapide proportions, and the overall effect is of a raised station wagon—er, shooting brake, er, crossover. The cabin features British wools, silks, and cashmere, as well as an ignition key that levitates in place between the front seats via electromagnets. Aston provided no details on the battery pack or motor, though it claims production will commence in Wales in 2022. Aston Martin invites you to "register your interest" at lagonda.com.
Rivian R1T, R1S
On Sale: Late 2020 | Base Price: $69,000/$72,500 (R1T/R1S)
Plymouth, Michigan-based Rivian beat Tesla to the electric-pickup-truck punch with the launch of its R1T during the 2018 L.A. auto show, and it also announced its second future offering, the R1S SUV. In its configuration equipped with a 135-kW-hr battery pack, the R1T boasts 750 hp all-in, produced by the electric motors that drive each wheel, and a massive 823 lb-ft of torque. A 180-kW-hr version is also available, and although it "only" produces 700 hp, Rivian claims the truck will be capable of traveling more than 400 miles on a charge.
The startup has garnered interest from Fortune 500 companies, namely Ford and Amazon, which have invested $500 million and $700 million in Rivian, respectively. Ford plans to use Rivian's skateboard platform to build its own electric vehicle, and although Rivian will remain an independent company for now, Ford's president of automotive, Joe Hinrichs, will join the board.
2020 Drako GTE
On Sale: Late 2020 | Base Price: $1 million (est)
One of the most striking new entries for 2020 is the all-electric GTE supercar. Created by Drako Motors, a Texas-based auto engineering startup founded in 2015 by three tech entrepreneurs, the all-wheel-drive GTE has four permanent-magnet hybrid synchronous motors (225 kW each) turning out a combined 1,200 horsepower—enough for blistering acceleration and a claimed top speed of 206 mph. Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and, in road configuration, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires add to the extreme performance. More important, the GTE incorporates the company's proprietary Drako DriveOS, a software system that replaces conventional mechanical axle differentials with computer-managed four-wheel torque vectoring; the motor at each wheel can be instantly and independently controlled for maximum traction, stability, and handling responsiveness. The entire system is controlled by a single ECU, making it far less complex than the computer networks in most modern vehicles.
2022 Piëch Mark Zero
On Sale: 2022 (est) | Base Price: $300,000 (est)
The Piëch Mark Zero is yet another riff on the all-electric gran turismo, and yes, the styling seems an agglomeration of ideas borrowed from the Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes-AMG GT, Aston DB11, and others. Here's what's different: Piëch Automotive AG claims that its Hong Kong-based battery supplier can make a power cell that produces little heat during use and charging. That means the battery pack can be charged from nil to 80 percent in five minutes, or so says Piëch. Fully charged, range is expected to be 300 miles, and the batteries power three 201-hp electric motors (two rear, one front) for a GT-appropriate 603 hp total. And yes, it's that Piëch: Company co-founder Anton Piëch is grandson to the late Ferry Porsche and one of famed Porsche 917 and Audi Quattro engineer Ferdinand Piëch's 10 children. First deliveries are expected in 2022.
2021 Qiantu K50 by Mullen
On Sale: Late 2020 (est) | Base Price: $80,000 (est)
Sooner or later, Chinese-branded cars will probably be a thing here. If the majority of them are like the Qiantu K50, we'd be OK with that. Pronounced roughly as "jhan-tu," the K50 is a two-seat, luxury-trimmed, electric sports coupe on sale in China. But the car will take an interesting route to American roads given that it will be homologated by California-based Mullen Technologies. The car will arrive as a knock-down kit of sorts and then be reassembled by Mullen, which is aiming to improve on the K50's claimed 200-mile range and 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds as it makes the changes necessary for the dual-motor car with torque vectoring and roughly 430 total system horsepower to meet U.S. regulations. If all goes according to plan, Mullen aims to have the K50 available for sale by the second half of 2020 in select markets.