There are a number of aspiring electric vehicle startups in and around Silicon Valley, but very few have shipped actual cars, let alone established a steady business. A new startup called Drako Motors is the latest company to try to change that, and it wants to do so with a 1,200-horsepower $1.25 million supercar called the GTE.
Unveiled at Monterey Car Week, Drako Motors showed off what it says is the first production version of the GTE. The startup pulled no punches in how it described the car, either. The GTE is a “four passenger ultra luxury supercar” with “cornering precision unlike any other supercar on the road today,” Drako Motors says. It achieves this thanks to a quad-motor setup, with an electric motor at each wheel, and torque vectoring that’s driven by “industry leading” algorithms.
EV startups making outlandish claims isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Byton claimed its prototype SUV was a “new design icon” that exemplified the startup’s “digital leadership” in 2018. Faraday Future said it wanted to be as disruptive as the iPhone at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Neither has shipped a car to date.
Drako Motors doesn’t have a legion of automotive talent like some of its peers, and it was founded by two entrepreneurs with backgrounds in technology. But it’s been working towards the GTE for years, having tested an early version of the car at the Nürburgring in 2015. Drako Motors is also leveraging the vast auto industry to bring the GTE to life, from sourcing high-end components like Brembo brakes and and Öhlins suspension, to building the car on the chassis of the original Karma, the ill-fated hybrid sports car from failed automotive startup Fisker Automotive.
(As an aside: Fisker was reborn as Karma Automotive, and founder Henrik Fisker has also started his own new car company, simply named Fisker. Got all that?)
In all, Drako Motors promises the GTE will have a top speed of 206 miles per hour. The car will also be able to last in high-performance situations, Drako Motors says, thanks to an “internal massively-parallel cooling architecture” that surrounds each individual battery cell and helps quickly dissipate heat.
The GTE is slated to go into production later this year, and deliveries will start in 2020 for whoever can pony up $1.25 million. Considering most other EV startups run into the hurdle of trying to make lots of cars for relatively affordable price tags, building a small number of really expensive cars may be a smoother route to take. (Think more of a Koenigsegg model than the one forged by Tesla.) But if Drako Motors runs into trouble on the way to those first shipments, it certainly wouldn’t be the first EV startup to do so.