Chinese Qiantu Motors with California-based Mullen Technologies have confirmed the K50 electric sports car will make a North American debut during the 2019 New York Auto Show. Mullen will take an existing Chinese electric sports car — the Qiantu K50 — and bring it to the United States, and is expected to go on sale in 2020. Mullen then plans to follow the K50 up with its own in-house design.
“We are thrilled to bring the Qiantu K50 to the North American epicenter of luxury, design and entrepreneurial spirit – New York City,” says David Michery, Mullen Founder & CEO.
Image Credit : Mullen USA
In production since 2017, the Qiantu K50 seems up-to-date for Mullen with a twin-electric motor setup and about 430 horsepower. But McMahon says Mullen is learning about what changes the K50 needs for the U.S. market, beyond the basic federal motor vehicle standards, and will modify Qiantu’s car by the time of its launch in the second half of 2020. It’s also hedging its bets on sales targets.
The Qiantu K50 also features several luxury and tech-focused appointments, including: high-quality leather and Alcantara sports seats, all LED lighting system, in-car Solar Energy Air Circulation System, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, six stunning exterior color options, a suite of safety technologies and three driving modes (Adaptive, Sport and Boost).
Power comes from two electric motors. One motor powers each axle, giving the car all-wheel drive. Together, the motors produce 402 horsepower, which is enough to hurl the K50 from zero to 60 mph in “under 4.2 seconds,” according to Mullen. The Chinese-market version of the K50 is rated at 230 miles of range, although Mullen claims it can achieve up to 310 miles “with a uniform speed.” That’s likely irrelevant in the real world, however, as maintaining consistent speed over a long enough distance is unrealistic. We’ll have to wait and see what the U.S. EPA range rating turns out to be.
Following the launch of the K50, Mullen plans to develop a “midrange” model in-house, McMahon said. But given the struggles experienced by other upstart electric-car companies, it’s far from assured that Mullen will get that far.