Foxconn, a Taiwanese company that makes consumer electronics for brands like Apple, has unveiled three prototype electric vehicles that the company said will be produced at the former Lordstown Motors factory: the Model C, Model E, and Model T.
[Foxconn is relatively well-known among manufacturing contractors, owing to notably terrible working conditions in the firm’s Chinese factories, a spate of high-profile worker suicides, and of course, an incident where the firm swindled President Deals and the rube governor Scott Walker by pretending they wanted to make TVs in Wisconsin. Also, it’s possible to intuit that their CEO may not understand that making cars is hard. All that is to say, “grain of salt” —ED]
Foxconn is covering all its bases right from the start, producing an SUV (the Model C), a sedan (the Model E), and a bus (the Model T). The names themselves are fairly interesting, seeming to mine the legacy of cars like Ford’s own Model T, while possibly also benefiting from the association with Tesla’s similarly named products.
That said, there are some fun features to these prototypes. The Model C looks like your standard crossover, but it has a drag coefficient of 0.27 thanks to an incredibly streamlined design. You can seat seven people in its minimalist interior, and it is said to be capable of a 0-62 mph time of 3.8 seconds. The most impressive number here, though, is its claimed 435 mile range.
The Model E, designed with Pininfarina, looks like a tame luxury sedan on the outside. The interior is where it’s at, though; it features a 1+2 seating arrangement, which means that there’s a driver and two rear passengers. The driver has a view of a freestanding instrument cluster flanked by other displays, and the rear seats can be transformed into a mobile office.
The Model E could make the equivalent of about 740 horsepower, jump from 0-62 in 2.8 seconds, and has a purported range of 466 miles.
Finally, the Model T bus is also mostly fine. It boats similarly impressive numbers — about a 250-mile range and a top speed of 75 mph.
The prototypes were been built by Foxtron, a partnership between Foxconn and Taiwanese carmaker Yulon Motor.
It’s easy to be skeptical about Foxconn’s goals; the automotive world is inundated with countless companies claiming they intend to produce electric vehicles without ever actually offering one for sale. But Foxtron Vice Chairman Tso Chi-sen retains his forward-facing optimism, claiming that EVs would be worth a trillion Taiwan dollars — or, about $35 billion in America — to Foxconn in five years. We’ll see.