Indian-built concept said to deliver 192mph performance – from air-cooled batteries
By John Howell / Monday, October 25, 2021 / Loading comments
Ekonk. That name’s perhaps a little unfortunate in the English-speaking world, bearing in mind that it’s a new electric car and, well, to ‘conk out’ isn’t the ideal imagery for any new car. Leaving that aside, what is it exactly? Ekonk is the brainchild of Chunky Vazirani, the CEO of Indian start-up hypercar manufacturer Vazirani Automotive.
With 722hp this single seater EV is claimed to be the fastest car ever to come out of India (really, faster than the Hindustan Ambassador – surely not?) and also one of the fastest-accelerating cars in the world. The quoted stats are certainly impressive: 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds and a claimed top speed of 192mph, which, Vazirani says, has been achieved – at the Naxtrax high-speed facility near Indore.
But more interesting even than its name or those astonishing numbers is this stat: 738kg. That’s how much Ekonk is said to weigh, and electric cars aren’t known to be flyweights. Off memory that’s lighter than the original VW Beetle and the company says it is the lightest electric car ever made. Mind you, it’s worth pointing out that they haven’t told us how big the battery is or how many miles of range it offers.
But we do know how its lightness is achieved. Instead of the water cooling, the battery is air cooled (see, there was a reason I referenced the Beetle). It’s a technology called DiCo and it’s inspired by Biomimicry, which is the study of how mammals use breath to regulate their body temperature. Vazirani claims this tech could make future EVs lighter, faster, more cost effective to produce and increase their range. That does all make sense if you’re not carting around a tank of heavy coolant.
The Ekonk may have a limited production run but, for now, it’s a working prototype that’s proving the technology that will go into the Shul – the company’s first hypercar. And in case you think this is all a pipe dream, the Shul Inspire GT concept has already run at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, in collaboration with Gran Turismo, Michelin and the Force India Formula One team (now Aston Martin).
Vazirani himself has some pedigree, too: he graduated from the Art Center College of Design in California, which is where Chris Bangle studied automotive design, and he has worked for several manufacturers including Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Yamaha and Rolls-Royce. Oh, and before we sign off, that name: in Indian scriptures, Ekonk means the beginning of the divine light or the big bang. Suddenly it all makes sense.
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