Croatian manufacturer DOK-ING is getting into the car business in a remarkable way. DOK-ING makes its bones building heavy robotic equipment for industrial and military applications under the mantra, “never send a man to a do a robot’s job.” But now it is building a three-seater, high-end electric commuter car called the XD, which looks like a Smart Fortwo on steroids. It seats three, with the driver in the middle. The doors swing up like on an SLR-McLaren sports car, and the driver’s seat swivels and slides toward the door opening for ingress and egress.
The car is powered by a 33 kilowatt-hour battery back in the floor, and it uses two 45-kilowatt electric motors to drive either the front wheels or the rear wheels, depending on what the customer wants. You can even order the XD with four electric motors to create an all-wheel-drive system. The chassis is a lightweight aluminum space frame, and the body is made of Kevlar-reinforced carbon fiber.
Acceleration should be impressive, considering the power output of the electric motors. At an average speed of 50 mph, the XD can go about 105 miles on a full charge. But it’s designed for urban commuting, so a more realistic average speed might be 25 mph, in which case it can drive around 155 miles on a single charge. The XD is designed and engineered entirely in-house and has been tested over the last two years in extreme conditions. It goes on sale in Europe next July for around 50,000 euros. DOK-ING is gauging interest for possible mass production in the U.S. Are you in?