The Watt Electric Vehicle Company isn’t the first to look to Porsche as a good option for electrification - Chesil has been doing it for a while. However, there’s a big difference - Watt’s Coupe is only ‘inspired’ by the 356’s classic and iconic styling. It is actually a brand new, bespoke design which is underpinned by an in-house developed platform nicknamed PACES.
The PACES platform (Passenger and Commercial EV Skateboard) follows the tried-and-tested skateboard style and can be used across vehicle classes, from passenger cars to commercial vehicles. It can be scaled and clad in almost any body style, as well as being able to use front-, rear- or all-wheel drive. What’s more, it’s type approved and crash tested for niche manufacture across Europe.
In the case of the Coupe, the PACES platform has a mid-mounted motor powering the rear wheels. It’s not a tower of power, offering 160bhp – significantly more than the original 356 which had around 100bhp less – but thanks to a kerbweight of less than 1000kg it still cracks 0-62mph in just over five seconds.
Watt has worked on ensuring the car handles well, too. The chassis is made of bonded aluminium and has a bespoke double wishbone suspension setup which should complement the 50:50 weight distribution and low centre of gravity very well indeed. The low CoG and even weight distribution is thanks in no small part to the fact the 40kWh battery is located centrally and low down within the PACES platform.
Neil Yates, founder and owner of WEVC reckons the Coupe is a hoot to drive on both city streets and the B-roads where you’d hope it shines. Responsive steering, balance and exploitable levels of grip ensure entertainment over outright adhesion.
That body is made of composite materials and each panel has been optimised for aerodynamics. It’s pleasing on the eye and close enough to the 1955 Porsche to show where the inspiration has come from, but different enough to be a car in its own right. A big benefit of the aerodynamics and low weight is the potential range on offer. WEVC reckons the Coupe is good for around 230 miles on a charge which is extremely efficient given the battery size.
Neil Yates, founder and owner of Watt Electric Vehicle Company, said: “The Coupe represents two firsts for Watt Electric Vehicle Company. With our debut vehicle we wanted to build a light, engaging sports car, at the opposite end of the spectrum from the current trend toward hugely powerful, fast accelerating, but heavy electric supercars.”
Like other niche car companies offering reimagined classics, the WEVC doesn’t come cheap. The company is planning to build 21 launch edition cars, each of which can be tailored by the customer, starting at £81,250. It’s hoping to start deliveries early in 2022.