No, the “Model E” is not the latest addition to Tesla as the first electric sedan of the Hon Hai Technology Group, aka Foxconn, a Taiwanese giant that produces devices for Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, etc. And the Model E also speaks Italian: it was developed in collaboration with Pininfarina, who built the first model in its Cambiano (Turin) atelier.
The multinational aspires to become a global automotive manufacturer under the name of Foxtron, cooperating “indirectly” with German manufacturers but also with American and Asian ones. The agreements that Foxconn concluded with the US startup Fisker and the Thai energy group PTT PCL should be read in this sense. Not only that, Foxconn has set the goal of providing components or services for 10% of the world’s electric vehicles already between 2025 and 2027.
The Model E, in particular, is a large sedan, “conceived to be a kind of mobile office dedicated to businessmen”, explains Fabrizio Valentini, Vice Director Design of Pininfarina: “Hence the large interior space, the same for which it was decided to sacrifice the seat of the front passenger in favor of those who sit behind, to whom a reclining chair is dedicated that becomes almost a bed. While the front footrest conceals a screen dedicated to TV or PC ». The car – 750 hp of power, 0-100 km / h in 2.8 seconds and a range of 750 km – is complete with gadgets such as door opening with facial recognition, smart windows and external interfaces that connect the vehicle with its surroundings.
It is above all a question of technology: “The electric car is a sort of brand reset for everyone”, says Kevin Rice, Chief Creative Officer of Pininfarina, arguing how the weight that customers give to the coat of arms of a brand is changing: “Let’s take Tesla; thanks to its technological leadership, it has become a benchmark. Likewise, the Model E platform has allowed us to take advantage of technical avant-garde that make the customer experience special ». Yeah, but who are these potential customers? «They are ‘early adopters’, that is, people in love with technology. The latter in China – and probably also in the USA, ed. – counts more than the value of the brand itself “.
Pininfarina had the task of “integrating this technological load with a harmonious, simple and clean design”, affirms Valentini: “the result is a car with innovative proportions, with a short bonnet and a long passenger cabin, with a sleek silhouette and a tail fastback which underlines its advanced aerodynamics ». But it is not just a matter of design: “Pininfarina also played an active role in defining the design dimensions of the skateboard platform – position of the uprights or seats, for example – which forms the skeleton of the car”, explains Rice: “A synergy design that has allowed us to achieve innovative stylistic results, otherwise unattainable ».
Could Model E be called an iPhone on wheels, then? “In a way, yes,” Rice replies with a smile. With the most famous smartphone, in fact, the car shares the minimal style, “that feeling of luxury conferred by a sober elegance, the same that conveys that sense of ‘intelligent technology’ that makes the difference”.