WHILE some car makers are closing down and others amalgamating in an effort to survive what seems to be a global economic slump, a new one, from an unexpected nation, is ready to start up.

Turkey has just announced plans to build and market a range of electric SUVs and sedans, starting in 2022. 

The good-looking vehicles have a brand name Togg, which might sound a bit odd, but the letters stand for Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu — and Togg is a hell of a lot easier to say.

The government-backed company says it has engineered its own electric vehicle platform and collaborated with Pininfarina for the design of the vehicles. 

Togg says two lithium-ion battery packs will be available, with the lower-capacity option providing 300km of range, while the higher-capacity unit will let you drive for up to 500km.

There will be rear and all-wheel drive options.

 One has a 150kW electric motor in the rear, while an all-wheel-drive option adds a front electric motor that takes output to a claimed 300kW.

 The RWD model will go from zero to 100km/h in 7.6 seconds, while the AWD model gets there in just 4.8 seconds.

Full details have not been released, but the SUV looks to be about the size of a BMW X3. 

The five-seat interior looks futuristic and relatively luxurious, with a vast array of screens on the dashboard and centre console, side camera mirrors with displays mounted on the A-pillars, and decent-looking materials.

The sedan is also pretty stylish.

The prototypes were unveiled in Gebze, to the west of Istanbul, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan popped in and took the prototypes for a short test drive, Daily Sabah reported.

The SUV is slated to go into production in 2022 and the sedan shortly after. 

A new plant will be established in the country’s northern province of Bursa, with an annual capacity of 175,000 units. 

About $5.3 billion will be invested in the project which will see three additional models launched for the domestic and as yet unnamed foreign markets.

Syria will probably not be one of them.

Turkey’s Scientific and Technical Research Council was responsible for most of the engineering, though the design was outsourced to Italy’s Pininfarina.

The Togg won’t be the first attempt at a Turkish car. 

There was a car called the Devrim, back in 1961, but just four prototypes were built before the project was shelved.

However, the nation does build a lot of cars for some of the best-selling brands in the passenger car market.

 Renault has been manufacturing in the country for 50 years, and others include Fiat, ToyotaHyundai and Honda.

togg - 1961 turkish devrim 01 - Turks take time out to do the Togg
1961 Turkish Devrim . . . only four made.

CHECKOUT: A bit of history on the Devrim

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.