You’d be forgiven for being worried about the future of sports cars given the EV revolution on the horizon. Electric cars tend to be a lot heavier than their internal combustion equivalents, and the usual method of shoving a load of battery cells under the carpet makes for a high driving position and a high roofline. Not exactly ideal building blocks for a sharp-driving coupe.
Thankfully, with some outside of the box thinking, it’s not impossible. Take the Piech GT - if you didn’t know any better, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s powered by unleaded, not electrons. It has the traditional proportions of a front-engined sports car, with a side profile not unlike the Jaguar F-Type (with which it shares a similar footprint), and shades of Aston Martin elsewhere.
The GT is the production version of the Mark Zero concept that Piech Automotive revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019. Some elements have been toned down, but it’s not that far away. It uses a newly developed pouch cell 75kWh battery pack that sits in a central tunnel between the seats and across the rear axle, allowing for a much lower seating position than something with an underfloor arrangement. The setup also gives a rear-biased weight distribution of 40/60, similar to a mid-engined combustion-powered sports car.
Despite having a decent-sized battery, it’s not all that heavy, with a weight figure under 1,800kg promised. This puts the GT in the ballpark of various luxury sports cars, which it’ll be able to rival from a performance perspective too.
You get two motors for the rear axle and one for the front, giving a total output of 595bhp. 0-62mph is over and done with in under three seconds, while 0-124 is dispatched in under nine seconds. A top speed hasn’t been provided just yet.
A range of up to 311 miles will be possible, and when it’s time to recharge, the GT can be juiced to 80 per cent in eight minutes when plugged into a 400-volt charging unit.
It all sounds very promising. The one catch is customer deliveries are still a little way off, thanks in part to Covid-19. A second prototype will be ready by next March, followed by further development cars by the end of 2022 and a second batch the following year. And yes, some of them will be tested on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Production will begin in 2024.
The Swiss company’s co-founder and CEO Toni Piech, son of the late VW Group boss Ferdinand Piech said: “Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have managed to overcome the resulting delays and keep our project fully on track. The financing rounds to date have been successful, and we can now confidently continue our journey towards market launch.”