The idea of a locally produced automobile was first introduced to Turkey by President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, two years ago. As time progressed, the production of the car caused more excitement and wonder, culminating in it being introduced to the nation in December of last year.
The Turkey's automobile, known for the time being by the logo TOGG (initial letters of Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group), was introduced to the world with the SUV and sedan models. The unique aspect of both cars is that they are electric.
In the official opening ceremony of the program “Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group Meets with Travelers to Innovation,” which was held in Gebze’s “Technology Valley,” President Erdoğan indicated the starting point of this technology, as follows “By means of production of electric car, we does not stretch to the past, nor to today, but directly to future technology." President Erdoğan stated that this automobile, with its design, battery, and charging station, made it clear that Turkey is ready for the future world. He summed up the goal as follows:
“By entering the arena of the electric automobile, Turkey has taken not one step ahead, but quite a few. This automobile will not be produced merely to meet Turkish needs. Our aim is global market. Starting with European markets, when you see this car on roads throughout the world, it means that we will reach our goal. We have determined our production and export strategies accordingly.
As in every field, artificial intelligence is moving forward rapidly in automobiles as well. We want to prepare all the components in our industry according to the next era. The technology accumulation in ‘Turkey’s Automobile’ project will open the way in many other sectors, as well as acting as a trigger for greater innovation. We do not have the luxury to make an error here. If we put down the rules, it no longer matters from whom we get assistance or with whom we work.”
After an 18-month period, which can be considered a miraculously short period of time, the efforts of a professional team and over 100 Turkish engineers led to the public launch of two electric automobiles, one from the SUV and the other the sedan class on December 27, 2019. The design, particularly that of the SUV, is far beyond what is generally on display at exhibitions, and that is merely an exterior shell. What we saw was an automobile that could be driven with a complete interior.
It is hard to resist the attraction of the SUV, a class of car that is becoming more popular every day. Add to this, the electric engine's advanced technology, the goals are as impressive as the models: the SUV and sedan will be followed by three more electric models in the next 15 years. “Turkey’s Automobile,” which has been prepared to transform a dream into reality, is also important because it will provide employment for 20,000 people and make a $50 billion contribution to the GNP.
Let’s take a look at the electric SUV model, which is planned to be placed on the market in 2022 from the factory whose foundations will be laid in the first half of this year in Gemlik.
While keeping in mind the expectations of the Turkish consumer, it is necessary to create a visual difference for this model, every detail of which has been painstakingly designed, in order to have a say in the global market. It was decided to cooperate with Pininfarina, a company considered to be the best in the field and which has given life to models of many brands from Peugeot to Ferrari, to cover the chassis that had been designed by Turkish engineers. For “Turkey’s Automobile,” as with many other brands today, cooperation with a famous design company was sought in order not to leave anything to chance and to guarantee success.
In contrast to what we have become accustomed to in the market, the new SUV electric model includes many firsts from its inception. Taking a privileged position in the C class, it has the longest axle, the most expansive interior space, the greatest ample legroom, the best acceleration values, and the lowest total cost.
The interior of the model which has a strong and dynamic presence, has been equipped with what is now an essential element: digital screens. Along with the display panel and the screen that have been designed for personal use by the passenger, the information/entertainment system, air conditioning, and the music system are all controlled by screens, which number four in total. The screens cover the front panel, thus making the new model appear as if it has come from the future. The cameras which have replaced the side mirrors send images to the screens – this is one more futuristic feature.
Potential owners of the car can request a 200 horsepower engine or two separate engines. In the single-engine choice, the engine is placed above the rear axle and pushes the SUV from the rear; in the second choice, with 400 horsepower, the engines are placed above the rear and front axles, transforming the SUV into a 4x4. In the single-motor, rear-driven model the vehicle goes from 0 to 100 km/s in 7.6 seconds, while the 4x4 with the two-motor choice achieves in 4.8 seconds. The maximum speed in both choices is 180 km/h.
The owners can choose between two battery groups to power the engine; these cover 300 or 500 kilometers respectfully. The rapid-charge option enables the battery to be charged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes while the batteries are guaranteed for 8 years. This long guarantee period and the rapidly increasing number of charge stations help to eliminate worries that accompany the purchase of an electric car.
Your Personal Help Is with You
The days when electric windows and air conditioning were luxury options are in the past. Today, as with Turkey’s new automobile, you will have an assistant connected to the Internet and have your orders carried out via communicating with smart-home systems, without a need for any other device. Thanks to the “Holographic Assistant” technology, developed by Turkish engineers and used for the first time in these models, which gives assistance with a 3-D image, drivers will be offered the necessary information, allowing them to keep their eyes on the road.
The new model gives the opportunity for automated driving (Level 2+) thanks to the driver support system that has been developed to include city-traffic pilot specification. When the time comes, the automobile will be able to go to the upper level of autonomy (Level 3) thanks to the infrastructure that has been developed to be suitable for future transformation.
The exciting developments of the new model will be followed in the near future with brand and model names. As can be understood, an exciting two years lie ahead of us until the first automobile is placed in the market.
We know that in different periods of time the automobile factories in Turkey have been selected as the best in their respective fields. A significant proportion of subsidiary industry is exported, which is as important as appealing to the domestic market. When the standards that have been reached in the sector are considered, there is no obstacle to Turkey producing its own model. What is left is merely to count the days until this dream has become a reality. Let’s hope as the Turkish saying goes “Counted days pass quickly”!