Watch Out Tesla! Qiantu Motor’s 400-HP Electric Coupe Is Coming to America
Engineered and manufactured in China, but built in the U.S.by Jonathan Lopez, on
From the monstrous Nio EP9, to a vast army of micro city cars, China is certainly no stranger to electric vehicles. Now that Eastern vibe is heading West with the introduction of a new EV sports car that could very well take the market by surprise. Maybe.
Will Qiantu Motor Bring The Goods?
If you’ve never heard of Qiantu Motor, don’t feel bad. Qiantu Motor is a Chinese startup that first hit the scene in 2015, and it currently owns a plant in Suzhou that can apparently produce upwards of 50,000 units annually.
Now, Qiantu Motor is gearing up to offer it’s very first model - an EV sports car dubbed the K50.
When the model first debuted, it was called the Event! (exclamation point included), which we happen to like quite a more than K50, but we digress.
For now, Qiantu Motor plans to build its vehicles in North America through a partnership with Mullen Technologies Inc., which is based in Southern California.
According to the attached press release, “Mullen will homologate, assemble, and market the Qiantu-brand K50 electric sports car in North America.” Mullen will import most of the vehicle components from Qiantu Motor’s plant in China, then source the remaining pieces from other U.S. companies.
Mullen will also help to sell the vehicle through CarHub, its proprietary digital platform for the purchase and sale of vehicles.
What’s The Deal With Mullen Technologies?
|Note: Mullen 700e pictured here.|
To be completely frank, we feel like Mullen Technologies really dropped off in the last few years.
For example, just look at its 700e sedan from 2015, pictured above. This thing is basically a 10-year-old knockoff of a knockoff, and while it does offer an impressive 180 miles of range per charge, the rest of it is about as bland as uncooked oatmeal.
Luckily, this new machine looks to upend those expectations in a big way.
How About The New K50?
From the pictures, we think the new K50 actually looks pretty good.
To our eyes, it offers a combination that mashes together the BMW i8 and the Bugatti Veyron, and while there are a few angles that are less than flattering (for example, the rear three-quarter is a little cringey), it still looks solid overall.
And hey, it’s even got a dragonfly for a badge - that’s pretty cool, right? We’ve also heard rumblings around the net of a roadster model, which is pretty encouraging.
As for the technical bits, the K50 is a fully electric car that derives its motivation from a duo of electric motors. Range per charge comes to 380 km, or 236 miles, while output is pegged at more than 400 horsepower (402 to be exact). No word on torque, but if the powertrain is unchanged from the model that originally debut in 2015, it should also provide upwards of 650 Nm of twist (479 pound-feet).
As for acceleration numbers, the K50 will hit 60 mph in the low 4-second range, and top out at 125 mph.
Under the skin, you’ll find an aluminum frame and carbon fiber body, so it should also be relatively lightweight (for an EV, that is). And, as we all know, lighter is better when it comes to handling.
When Can I Get One And How Much Does It Cost?
The K50 is expected to hit the market by 2020.
As for pricing, Qiantu Motor frames it as “unexpectedly affordable.” It’s already on sale in China, first arriving there back in August. Pricing in China starts at 754,300 yuan or $109,396 as of this writing (12/18/2018). It should be noted that that price is before government subsidies.
So how much will it cost stateside?
That’s a good question, but assuming it does cost around six figures, it’s gonna have some pretty stiff competition. For example, the Tesla Model S 100D slots in right around there, while the upcoming Taycan will most likely start at roughly $75,000.
So, will the K50 have enough to eclipse the current (and future) crop of EV performance machines? We’ll have to wait and see.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model S.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Porsche Taycan.
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8.
Source: Automotive News