A two-door, two-seat sports car with three electric motors, currently in concept form, is the project of Anton Piëch, son of the legendary Ferdinand Piëch of Volkswagen Group fame.
The car will be built on a flexible platform and has a '60s–'70s look, intending to appeal to enthusiasts who want an old-school immersive driving experience.
The Piech Mark Zero is currently projected to go on sale in 2022.
Piëch is back! But in this case, we are not talking about Ferdinand Piëch, the godfather of the German auto industry himself. At the Geneva auto show, his son Anton is launching his own automotive brand.
Their first car is a relatively compact two-door, two-seat sports car that is powered by three electric motors. One of them is positioned in the front, two in the rear; the lithium-ion batteries are positioned in the central tunnel and in the rear, just above the electric motors. Thanks to the innovative air-cooled battery concept, total vehicle weight is targeted to remain under 4000 pounds.
While there are no final figures yet, the Piëch Mark Zero is expected to reach a top speed of around 150 to 160 mph, and it will have an electric range of over 310 miles according to the somewhat challenging WLTP regulation.
Piëch has hired R&D executive Klaus Schmidt to handle the car's engineering. Schmidt has worked on forward-looking technology at BMW M and Qoros. In his new role with Piëch, he will work with a lean team of engineers and external R&D houses.
The platform is designed to be extremely flexible; beyond a relatively lightweight battery pack, it could host a hydrogen powertrain, a plug-in-hybrid powertrain, and even conventionally powered engines. And while it is also prepared for autonomous driving functions, the Mark Zero will be launched without anything resembling fully self-driving capability.
That's because it is designed as an enthusiast car for drivers and owners who specifically do not want to delegate driving to a computer. Its 1960s- and '70s-inspired lines were penned by Hungarian designer Laszlo Varga. Piëch currently has 20 full-time employees, with 200 more working on the project externally.
We are told that Piëch will begin prototype testing in late 2019; the Mark Zero is planned to go on sale by early 2022. The company said it will be followed by an SUV, of which there are already conceptual studies. The third model will be a four-seater sedan.
The Piëch concept will break cover in Geneva, less than two weeks from now. It's sure good to see a great name back.