The Swiss sports car company Piëch couldn’t have chosen a better timing to make its appearance! In a context where consciousness is being raised on the crucial importance of evolving to save the planet, Piëch and its Mark Zero seem to mark the beginning of something new in the EV industry. Divergence leading to graceful consensus.
I remember discovering the grand touring electric coupé Mark Zero at the Geneva Motor Show last year and being captivated by the outstanding design of this pioneering vehicle. Piëch announced the arrival of a new brand with great ambitions and a unique technology that was – still is – setting the bar of performance really high for the competition.
“We stand on the shoulders of giants, but refuse to bow to industry convention.” – Piëch
Piëch Automotive: Striking the right chord at the right time
Piëch Automotive was born from the alliance of two innovative minds, Anton Toni Piëch, heir to a noble line of automotive legends, and Rea Stark Rajcic, a formidable entrepreneur with unparalleled creativity.
The company is described as lean, which I understand from the angle of product management method that focuses on efficiency at all level. Thereby, implicitly suggesting that they found the solution to reducing waste of “time”, “energy” and “ressources”. What is surely striking is the choice of words, since the school of lean management has its roots in Japan in the Toyota production system. It makes sense when you know both founders have either studied or worked with East Asian countries. The disruption doesn’t stop here, as the design is making the news and the engine the headlines.
Mark Zero, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
As long as he is willing to open his eyes and mind…
Many articles claim to recognize (only) two or three inspirations from well-known models, Aston Martin, 1960s Shelby Cobra Daytona and Jaguar E-type. I would probably add to the list, Ferrari 250 GTO, Ford GT40 and some Porsche models too… Along with the whole fleet of cars classic designs known so far really!
Nevertheless, being picky about where the inspiration comes from is something I leave to men’s ego. In the end, only the result matters. To quote Oscar Wilde, although it is inconclusive whether these words are his; “Talent borrows. Genius Steals!” is what I could gather from polling my friends on the Mark Zero. I firmly disagree and believe that a thief steals but a genius borrows instead. Because genius lies in the art of knowing how to take the inspiration from greatness and create something that gives you an identity.
I don’t see any form of imitation in the design, which, by the way, won the German Design Award 2020. On this note, I invite you to apply the concept of less is more, “Less Ego, More Soul” when you discover the video of From Sketch to ShowCar. Keep in mind that the Mark Zero deliberately wants to recall the GTs of the 60s and 70s and I can understand why…
Some are quick to reject design innovation entirely on the pretext that the designer is not known. I will retort, again, that Rome wasn’t made in a day and that centuries made it into the pillar that it is today. Inspiration is the ability, as in politics although not mastered yet, to find the perfect consensus by taking only certain values, aspects and elements from previous campaigns and to combine them all in a new harmonious canva.
Now that we’ve covered the design with the few elements at our disposal, let’s not forget there’s more to beauty than meets the eye…
Piëch, The New Standard
Disruption and novelty often comes with criticism and scrutiny. What’s new is by essence different. Thus different, until approved by an authority, is left aside. So is the world and the game.
Piëch is most certainly a new player on the automakers’ very select field, and as timing is everything, the choice of members is just as important. In the frantic race to develop electric cars, Piëch has managed to impose itself, or at least, mark a time out by introducing a model defying all competition thanks to a revolutionary technology allowing a record charging time! The other card they pulled out of their sleeve is none other than the nobility of Anton Toni Piëch. This is without a doubt a tremendous asset, that they honor with their subversive approach to electric and automotive.
The New Generation
Because I’m an unconditional fan of stories and History, let me refresh your memory. Anton Toni Piëch co-founder of the German-Swiss brand Piëch Automotive, is the descendant of the famous Ferdinand Porsche, creator of the Beetle and founder of the eponymous brand, and Ferdinand Piëch, himself the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the Volkswagen AG group and engineer, as well as creator of the most fabulous racing Porsche ever, the 917.
This heritage seems to have inspired his vision and a fresh look at sports and luxury automobiles in the electric world. Like any self-respecting company with a sense of success, it is almost always about solving a problem. If you can’t find a supercar on the market that fits your shoes, you have to create it.
The ambition behind Piëch Automotive is to set new standards:
- to create a modular platform allowing the range to be easily broken down into several complementary models
- to simplify the business model in the automotive industry
- to take pole position as provider of important technical innovations in the field
- to offer a choice of a 100% electrified vehicle on the luxury car market, if I am not mistaken with Pininfarina they are the only ones
- to not exceed the 200,000 euros mark (cf. Rea Stark Rajcic at the unveiling in Geneva)
They promised the fastest recharge on the market as of today: 500 km range, 80% recharge in 4 minutes and 40 seconds! Place your bets, bets down, no more bets!
In today’s market, starting from scratch to create a line of luxury cars, seeking to revolutionize the whole field of automotive electrification, is a challenge. In my opinion, the challenge has been met so far: an ambitious company, a new EV that is definitely innovative, smart, sustainable and with a design that stands the test of time and the seasons.
I may not know much about engines but I do find beauty and progress in this stunning Mark Zero. Hope you do too now!
Looking forward to discovering more in depth the interiors options, choice of materials used and drive performances of this gem once she is officially launched. Until we meet again then.
Written by yours timelessly, Diane GLAOUA