Piech brand launched with electric sports car at Geneva

Ferdinand Porsche's great-grandson announces brand with Mark Zero, on modular platform with 311-mile WLTP range.

By Kris Culmer, Autocar UK calendar 07 Mar 2019 Views icon15840 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Piëch Automotive has announced itself to the world with an electric sports car, named the Mark Zero, at the Geneva motor show.

The company was co-founded in 2016 by Anton 'Toni' Piëch, who is the son of Ferdinand Piëch – the hugely successful former chairman of the Volkswagen Group – and the great-grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the designer of the original Volkswagen Beetle and founder of the Porsche brand. His business partner is industrial designer Rea Stark Rajcic.

Piëch is a public company based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has no affiliation with the Volkswagen Group. 

The two-door, two-seat Mark Zero is unusual among the myriad of EVs from start-up brands in that it doesn't use a skateboard-type chassis, as popularised by Tesla. Instead, it's based on a modular platform that Piëch developed with the help of 200 external employees.

In the Mark Zero, the batteries are positioned along the central tunnel and on the rear axle, rather than packaged into the floor. A 201bhp asynchronous motor is located on each axle, giving a 0-62mph (0-100kph) time of 3.2sec and a top speed of 155mph (249kph).

The Piëch platform is claimed to be capable of accommodating internal combustion, hybrid, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, and some of the hardware, such as the battery, can apparently be swapped out.

The Mark Zero's battery is provided by Chinese company Desten. It uses cells that are said to be highly thermoefficient, allowing them to be cooled by air, rather than water, and capable of rapid charging up to 80% in just 4min 40sec.

The charging infrastructure is provided by Sino-German firm Qingdao TGOOD, which operates more than 210,000 charging points in 310 cities.

The goal of a 500km (311-mile) range on the new WLTP testing cycle has been set for the coupé, which weighs less than 1800kg. For comparison, the Rimac C_Two electric hypercar weighs 1950kg.

It's unclear who has engineered the Mark Zero, although design sketch previews appeared to be signed by Porsche's Peter Varga. It also hasn't been stated where Piëch's funding originates.

Following this retro-modern coupé, Piëch would apparently like to add a saloon and an SUV to its portfolio, with a convertible and a pick-up truck also possible.

Also read: Piech brand to launch with electric sports car at Geneva

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