Turkey revealed the first prototypes of their “domestic car” project on Friday, an electric compact SUV and a sedan, in a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Designed by Italian studio Pininfarina, the two fully-electric prototypes will be manufactured domestically by Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group or TOGG, which comprises of five companies and a business umbrella organization
One appears to be a compact sedan, whereas the other one has already been confirmed to be a C-segment (compact) SUV that’s due out in 2022.
There are two electric motor configurations with 200 HP or 400 HP, according to TOGG boss Gürcan Karakaş. The version with the bigger battery is claimed to sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds, while offering a range of more than 500 km (310 miles). As for the battery, it can be re-charged to 80% in under 30 minutes.
The 200 HP versions come with rear wheel drive and a single e-motor, while the 400 HP models will feature a second e-motor on the front axle and all-wheel drive. Unlike the latter, the less powerful car will need 7.6 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) and will have a range of at least 300 km (186 miles). It’s still however unclear which model these figures belong to, with TOGG not saying if the specs apply to just the SUV, the sedan or both.
“Today, we are witnessing a historic day of realizing Turkey’s 60-year dream together,” said president Erdoğan during the unveiling ceremony. “We do not have to buy a license or permission from anyone, we determine all the technical features by ourselves,” he added.
These prototypes represent Turkey’s second-ever effort to produce its own car, the first one taking place back in 1961 with the Devrim, which never made it past the prototype stage.
“They managed to hinder the production of Devrim, but they will not be able to hinder this automobile,” added the country’s president, while emphasizing that Turkey “is not only a market for new technologies but has also become a country that develops, produces and exports them all over the world.
In terms of styling, since these are Pininfarina-designed products, we can’t help but feel as though the design language isn’t much of a novelty – not that that’s an issue. Both models appear quite decent-looking, to say the least.
The SUV’s front fascia actually shares some of the design language found on other Pininfarina-designed concepts such as HKG’s K350 crossover or Vietnam’s VinFast crossover. Meanwhile, the sedan features a simple yet modern profile, with Tesla-like rear hunches. Both vehicles come with flush door handles and mirror cameras.
Once in production, the cars are said to offer Level 2 autonomous features such as a “Slow Traffic Pilot,” and will eventually move up to Level 3 and beyond thanks to a connected architecture offering over-the-air upgrades.
That’s not all though. Not only will these cars take advantage of advancements in 5G technology, but they will also feature something called “Holographic Assistant”, which according to the joint venture group is a system that uses eye tracking algorithms and holographic 3D imaging to provide a futuristic user experience.
“Holographic Assistant technology will transform the in-car experience completely by replacing the 2-dimensional display technologies currently used in cars with 3D imaging and augmented reality technologies.”
What this means is that presumably, the driver will be able to see the information on the display without taking his or her eyes off the road. TOGG actually wants to be the first carmaker to offer this innovative on-board tech.
Turkey’s first ever car will be built at a new factory in the Gemlik district of the northwestern Bursa province, with TOGG aiming to produce up to five models by the year 2030.
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