Mullen Automotive still plans to bring the Chinese-developed Qiantu K50 electric supercar to the U.S., but now under a different name and with a different assembly location.
The U.S. version of the K50 will henceforth be known as the Mullen GT and GTRS, Mullen announced Monday in a press release. The company said it had also revised the styling of the K50, also known as the Dragonfly K50, to be more in line with other planned models, and applied powertrain upgrades that will enable 0-60 mph in a claimed 1.95 seconds and a top speed “exceeding 200 mph.”
Mullen said it will “finalize engineering pursuant to U.S. standards” and undertake final assembly in Mishawaka, Indiana. The company acquired a factory there once used to build Hummers when it bought the assets of failed EV startup Electric Last Mile Solutions (ELMS). The ELMS business model also relied on adapting a Chinese-market EV design to U.S. standards, in this case a delivery van.
Mullen did not discuss a timeline for the launch of the GT and GTRS in the U.S., but the project has been brewing for some time. Mullen showed the quirky, curvaceous K50 at the 2019 New York auto show and announced plans to assemble 1,000 of them in the U.S. Originally it had planned to assemble the K50 at a facility in Washington state, but plans for that facility have been abandoned.
Mullen originally planned to bring the K50 to the U.S. along with a battery electric SUV called the MX-05, both in 2021. It’s since adjusted its plans to include a range of EV models, including some commercial vehicles. It started this journey with the purchase of the remains of Coda—and it’s said that some aspects from Coda, like the company’s battery management system, have been assets as Mullen moves forward.
In addition to this performance car, Mullen plans a Five performance SUV and a Class 1 electric van potentially based on the ELMS vehicle, and it holds a majority stake in Bollinger. It also plans to build the Five and the Bollinger B1 and B2 trucks in Indiana, while the Class 1 electric van is to be assembled in Tunica, Mississippi.
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