Tesla challenger boasts 2.3-second sprint, smooth Italian curves
The 2017 Geneva Motor Show will have its fair share of intriguing electric vehicles, including some we would have never seen coming before the first teaser or announcement dropped. The Elextra sports sedan is one of the members of that family, a Swiss-designed, German-built four-door that attempts to marry curvy Italian styling with electric performance fit to put Tesla on notice. Whether it will be successful on either account remains to be seen.
Up until someone actually builds an electric car that can rival (in real life) the Tesla Model S' blend of robust range, sporty performance, good looks and four-door practicality, it looks like we're stuck having to watch startup after startup pop out of nowhere with claims that its car is the next great thing in electric vehicle design. Faraday Future, Lucid Motors, Fisker Inc., LeEco ... the list goes on and on, and that's just the past year. Elextra is the latest, providing an appetizing teaser by whispering promises of silky smooth Italian-inspired styling, advanced electric powertrain technology and face-rippling performance.
Since the last time we covered an ambitious EV startup, the Tesla Model S P100D reached new heights in 0-60 mph (100 km/h) performance at the hands of Motor Trend (2.28 seconds). With that in mind, it's not so surprising to see the latest EV-startup-we've-never-heard-of touting a sub-2.3-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time. We will be surprised to see that number materialize on actual pavement, though, but who knows? Someone has to catch up to Tesla eventually.
Other than that rather optimistic acceleration estimate, the only number Elextra is providing for now is four, as in four doors, four seats and four-wheel drive. The electric powertrain spinning those (four) wheels has yet to be detailed.
The Elextra team has as much ambition in terms of styling as it does performance. "The idea behind Elextra is to combine pure lines reminding of the most exciting Italian supercars of the past, whilst being resolutely forward-looking thanks to its low, sleek and beautiful design, paired with today's most advanced technology," explains Elextra designer and founder Robert Palm.
In looking at the first teaser picture, it's hard to say how successful Palm and company are in meeting that goal. The design has a lot of seemingly disparate elements – high-arching front fenders, a long, straight roofline, and a Kamm-like tail – that may come together in spectacular fashion or end up looking like runaway orphans without a place to call home.
The other teaser photos from Elextra show additional details like headlamps with square lighting elements, a smiley daytime running strip, three thin taillights running clean across the rear-end, and a boomerang-like spoiler dropping down off the roof.
We'll withhold any judgement until we've seen the whole thing out in the open, but history gives us hope. Robert Palm and his Swiss automotive/industrial design firm Classic Factory were behind the gorgeous Jaguar E-Type redux known as the Lyonheart K. Modernizing one of the most beautiful automotive designs in history and designing a car from scratch are two different animals, but we're not betting against someone with the Lyonheart on his resume.
Elextra says that it will rely on a world-leading low-volume manufacturing company near Stuttgart, Germany to hand-build no more than 100 examples of this first car.
New Atlas will be at the Geneva Motor Show starting March 7 and we expect a particularly eclectic blend of world-beating supercars, outlandish and futuristic concept cars, green vehicles, everyday passenger cars and just plain crazy creations like Mercedes' ultra-burly, ultra-premium off-road convertible limousine. We look forward to bringing you the latest on all of them.