Turkey's first fully homemade car is an electric crossover SUV

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Turkey has long been partly dependent on foreign automakers, but it's about to claim independence in a big way. TOGG, a consortium of Turkish companies, has unveiled an electric crossover SUV as the country's first fully homegrown car (outside of help from Italian design firm Pininfarina, that is). It won't be a modest undertaking, either. While the base options will provide a single 200HP rear-axle motor (good for 62MPH in 7.6 seconds) and a 186-mile range, you can spec it out to a 400HP dual-motor setup (0-62MPH in 4.8 seconds) and 300 miles of range.

The machine will be quick enough to reach an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes on sufficiently fast (roughly 150kW) chargers.

It'll be technically savvy beyond the powerplant. TOGG is boasting of a "Slow Traffic Pilot" that will offer Level 2 semi-autonomous driving, with a platform that could upgrade to Level 3 autonomy "and beyond." The interior controls are nearly all-digital, including a Porsche-style passenger display and a claimed holographic assistant that will use eye tracking to provide information while keeping your eyes on the road. You can also expect a constant internet connection that will both link the SUV to the grid and deliver over-the-air updates.

TOGG hasn't outlined pricing, but expects the SUV to arrive in 2022 alongside the necessary charging infrastructure. There's also a concept sedan, so this likely won't be the only vehicle in the mix.

While the crossover is clearly meant to elicit national pride, it also draws attention to Turkey's income inequality. TurkStat estimated that the average yearly income in Turkey is equivalent to just $4,576, with people in Istanbul making a still-modest $6,102. Even if TOGG's vehicle is relatively affordable (we wouldn't count on it given the underlying tech), there's a good chance it'll be far less accessible than EVs are in the US. It could be a long, long while before there's an EV that many Turks can afford.