You ready for another luxury EV startup? Of course not, but it's here anyway, based in Milan and called Aehra. Italian-born company co-founder Hazim Nada has a background in commodities trading to go with a passion for physics. He says he noted plenty of Italian companies doing engineering and consulting work with EV makers, but Italy didn't have a homegrown EV maker itself. He also felt the battery-electric products on the market and coming to market weren't engaging in the "full utilization of all the possibilities that electric powertrains enable ... in terms of innovative design, vehicle dynamics, materials, emotional appeal, customer experience, interior space, in-cabin technology and traveling pleasure."
Aehra's solution to those white spaces is to develop two vehicles, a €180,000 SUV and a €160,000 sedan, both based around a molded carbon fiber (SMC) monocoque chassis packing a 120-kWh battery, two or three motors good for about 795 horsepower, and able to go 500 miles on a charge. The SMC construction is expected to keep the SUV's body-in-white under 400 pounds and the total curb weight under 4,400 pounds.
Ex-Lamborghini designer Sandro Andreotti, who drew the Reventon, is the other co-founder. Ex-Lamborghini designer Filippo Perini, artist behind the Urus, also now stands at Aehra's drawing boards, and he penned the SUV. The 120.8-inch wheelbase and minimal overhangs are said to create a cabin that can fit four NBA-sized occupants in comfort. The cabin can transform into lounge or meeting modes when parked, we're not yet sure what the changes entail other than the switch from blue ambient lighting to orange. The full-width screen across the instrument panel takes a lower position when driving, then can rise when parked to created a better widescreen aspect ratio for watching movies. Speaking of shows, that's what the two butterfly doors and two gullwing doors are for. Nada said 95% of the concept will reach production.
The sedan will share 70% of its parts with the SUV and the wheelbase, but not those doors.
Like so many plug-and-play products today, Aehra won't design anything but the chassis and body. Everything from the infotainment and ADAS systems to the powertrain components and production of the vehicle will be sourced from suppliers or partners. Nada's numbers claim the firm can develop both vehicles for a total of $750 million. Nada hasn't discussed financial backers, but Aehra has been through one funding round and plans another in late 2023, ahead of a planned IPO in 2024.
The plan is to begin production in 2025, the SUV reaching customers first in the last half of that year, the sedan coming six months later, perhaps in 2026. After the ramp-up, the company will make up to 25,000 units of each model, sales focused on the U.S., Europe, and China. One last thing to know: Aehra doesn't plan to name its vehicles. Nada explained that gesture with, "We do not want to limit anything or constrict the possible market evolution of these vehicles by giving them a name."
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