The New York International Auto Show saw an interesting bunch of all-electric sports cars. Remember the Pininfarina Battista? It’s a zero-emissions, $2.5 million hypercar with 1,900 horsepower and a jet fighter-inspired canopy. But what if you don’t have that kind of money for a sporty EV? Mullen Technologies may have the answer in the Qiantu K50 electric sports car.
Qiantu K50 Electric Sports Car: The Numbers
Let’s get straight to the numbers. Mullen says the Qiantu K50 is equipped with a RESS or Rechargeable Energy Storage System battery pack that is 30% lighter and offers 230 miles of range. The Qiantu K50 also comes with a dual-motor 4WD powertrain. The power output can be as high as 280 kW or around 420-horsepower.
And while 420 horses don’t sound impressive for a sports car, the Qiantu K50 is not just about tire-shredding horsepower. Those dual electric motors can produce a peak torque output of 520 pound-feet or 580 Nm. If you consider the K50 weighs a measly 618 pounds (281 kilograms) courtesy of an aluminum frame and carbon fiber body, this equates to blistering performance.
Indeed, the Qiantu K50 is a serious performance contender. It rushes from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.2 seconds. But if you want to relax, Mullen claims the K50 can reach 310 miles in a full charge with judicious pedal inputs. The K50 is rated at a top speed of 125 mph.
But a sports car is not only about straight-line speed. It needs to handle like a go-kart. Mullen claims the Qiantu K50 is riding on a front and rear double-wishbone suspension set-up. The chassis and suspension calibrations were tuned by UK-based engineering company MIRA Ltd. This means the Qiantu K50 promises to deliver a sporty driving feel, which is befitting of a true sports car.
The Qiantu K50 is also equipped with forged aluminum alloy wheels and Pirelli P Zero sports tires. This not only reduces unsprung weight, but it also holds the promise of better handling. In order to harness the powerful acceleration, the K50 makes good use of Brembo four-piston calipers in the front and rear wheels.
We had a brief moment with Frank McMahon, Chief Engineer and CTO of Mullen Technologies at the New York Auto Show. “My main task is to lead the homologation of the Qiantu K50 in the USA. We’re planning to launch the K50 in 2020,” said McMahon. “This car is constructed from a one-piece clamshell-style hood with 29 exterior panels made of carbon fiber. The painted body panels are devoid of paint. The panels come out of the mold in a specified color,” continued McMahon.
Speaking of the color, the Qiantu K50 is available in six standard colors and multiple color design options. The 19-inch forged alloys come with two color options as well. The Qiantu K50 has a sculpted body reminiscent of the Audi R8 and Bugatti Chiron. But things are rather interesting in the rear, where the K50 has the silhouette of a McLaren sports car. It’s a mishmash of sporty styles all rolled into one. The effect is polarizing at first, but the Qiantu K50 is best appreciated with more than just a quick glance. Look longer and you’ll uncover a sports car that oozes with muscular proportions and a high-tech vibe.
Luxurious and Innovative Features
Meanwhile, the interior is wrapped in leather and Alcantara. The K50 is a fast sports car with the cabin of a luxurious grand tourer. It’s not as plush as a Bentley, mind you. But it’s certainly not a bad place to be in those long and arduous drives. There you’ll see the large vertically-oriented center touchscreen display and digital instrument console. Also worth mentioning are the rather thick A-pillars, which we figured might hamper visibility when cornering or approaching an intersection.
“The Qiantu K50 also comes with a solar panel in the roof,” McMahon proudly exclaims. “The solar panel provides the energy to create a climate-controlled environment in the interior. When the car is OFF and anytime the interior temperature climbs to 45 degrees C (113 degrees F), the HVAC system will turn ON to keep the interior cool,” added McMahon. “The solar panel charges the 12-volt system so it never dies while the HVAC is cooling the cabin.”
With all these interesting features, Muller’s Qiantu K50 seems like a compelling choice for a sub-$125k electric sports car. And while the Qiantu K50 is designed and developed in China, Muller Technologies will build the K50 in North America with plans to build a 1.3-million square foot facility in Spokane, Washington. Standard equipment in the Qiantu K50 includes a surround view camera system and a DC fast-charging system that replenishes the battery pack in around 45 minutes.