The 2019 Piëch Mark Zero Is a Niche EV Sportscar Done Right
Ticking all the boxes while adding a few moreby Jonathan Lopez, on LISTEN 04:42
The 2019 Geneva Motor Show is coming to a close, and as the dust settles, it’s time to take a moment and reflect on all the big debuts that swept across the Palexpo convention center. Unsurprisingly, sports cars and all-electric powertrains occupied a good deal of available real estate this year, and Piëch Automotive’s Mark Zero stood out as a fantastic example of how to combine the two into a single niche vehicle.
The 2019 Piëch Mark Zero Looks Good
This is Piëch Automotive’s first model, but it’s already looking pretty hot right out the gates.
The whole thing exudes grand-tourer style, with a long hoodline, cab-back proportions, and squat, flat rear end. Take a step back, and it’s easy to see a good deal of Aston Martin DB11 in there. So yeah, you could us fans.
As they say, first impressions matter, and to our eyes, the 2019 Piëch Mark Zero nails it.
The 2019 Piëch Mark Zero Is Quick On The Blacktop And At The Plug
With something that looks this good, you’ve gotta have the performance credentials to back it.
Luckily the 2019 Piëch Mark Zero can walk the walk thanks to a trio of electric motors, one of which is used to drive the front wheels, while the other two drive the rear, thus providing some very grippy all-wheel drive traction. Each motor produces 201 horsepower, but Piëch Automotive has yet to provide the exact peak combined output.
Regardless, this EV is supercar-levels of quick.
Properly motived, the 2019 Piëch Mark Zero hits 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, while top speed is rated at 155 mph.
It should handle too. For example, the battery packs are air-cooled, which helps to trim excess heft (total vehicle weight is under 4,000 pounds). The weight that does remain is mounted low in the chassis to keep the center of gravity close to the ground, while also spread evenly front to back for improved weight distribution, both of which help with overall handling. Add in that electric all-wheel drive and some sticky rubber, and this thing should be rather friendly in a bend.
And while a quick 60-mph time and solid handling are both important, we find the 2019 Piëch Mark Zero’s battery tech to be the most intriguing part of the package.
The headline here is an 80-percent charge in less than five minutes at the plug. If true, that’ll make the Mark Zero the quickest-charging passenger EV in the world. Even more importantly, it’ll make EV plug-times competitive with fill-up times in an ICE-powered car, and that’s nothing short of massive for the segment as a whole.
This last point seems to be the most incredible bit from the whole debut, so we’ll give it a “proof is in the pudding” judgement for now. That said, if it isn’t vaporware, this could be a real inflection point for electric vehicles.
The 2019 Piëch Mark Zero Plays The Long Game
Based out of Zürich, Piëch Automotive was established just three-and-a-half years ago, but it’s already got a little credibility in the bank. Auto nerds will recognize the founder as the son of former Volkswagen head Ferdinand Piëch and the great-grandson of Ferdinand Porsche.
The point is, this isn’t just some ragtag group of after-hours engineers working out of a garage. This company has a very real chance at success, and the Mark Zero is a perfect example of that.
Looking ahead, Piëch appears to have adopted a Tesla-esque “top-down” strategy, breaking into the market with an expensive, low-volume model (we’re guessing the Mark Zero will be priced well above six-figures) before offering a range of less-expensive models in the future. This strategy helps to build brand recognition and raise capital for development and production costs in the future, and as Tesla has proven, it can be quite successful.
However, unlike its EV-only competitor from California, Piëch Automotive won’t limit itself to just all-electric vehicles. In fact, the Mark Zero’s modular platform allows for the inclusion of hybrid powertrians, fuel-cell powertrains, and even good ‘ole internal combustion.
What’s more, Piëch Automotive made sure the Mark Zero was adaptable to future tech updates, including software and hardware (for example, autonomous-drive technology for the former, and new battery packs for the latter).
All told, the Mark Zero could be the first in a long line of new vehicles from the upstart brand. The company has already announced its intentions to build a four-door sedan and an SUV.
What do you think about Piëch Automotive’s 2019 Mark Zero? Let us know in the comments section below.
|Piëch Mark Zero Exterior Specs|
|Overall Length||4,431mm (174.5 inches)|
|Overall Width||1,991mm (78.4 inches)|
|Overall Height||1,250mm (49.2 inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,620mm (103.1 inches)|
|Front Overhang||897mm (35.4 inches)|
|Rear Overhang||915mm (36 inches)|
|Piëch Mark Zero Drivetrain Specs|
|Drive Type||All-electric all-wheel drive|
|Motor||single asynchronous electric motor front, double synchronous electric motors rear|
|Output||201 horsepower per electric motor|
|Acceleration||0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||250 km/h (155 mph)|
|Weight||<1,800 kg (3,968 pounds)|