A Swiss-Hungarian-British project to create the ultimate sports car of tomorrow has returned to Hungarian history to build on perhaps the most famous name linked to power.
Before creating its new brand of luxury electric vehicles, owners of Swiss-British automaker Bak Motors AG interviewed potential customers, asking them which car of their dreams would be. The answer many found was a combination of the instant torque and acceleration of an electric motor with the evocative high-revolution scream of a V10 internal combustion engine, company founder Tibor Bak said. to Budapest Business Journal in an exclusive interview.
Kincsem Hyper GT promises to deliver a beautifully designed carbon monocoque chassis driven by a hybrid powertrain combining electric motors with a small gasoline engine, possibly in a V10 configuration.
The new brand was named after record-breaking Hungarian racehorse Kincsem, which means ‘my treasure’ in English. The world famous thoroughbred mare won all of her 54 flat races at the end of the 19th century, competing in Germany, Austria, France and the UK.
According to the company, the Kincsem Hyper GT will honor the legacy of its equine namesake by having a series limited to just 54 luxury vehicles.
Bak Motors describes itself as “the world’s first fully digital automaker”. The company was founded in 2018 by Hungarian entrepreneur Bak, Swiss lawyer Stefan Peller and Swiss-Hungarian businessman Attila Karaszi.
“I am passionate about cars and Formula 1 and an entrepreneur,” Bak told BBJ. “I am a typical pioneer; I’m only interested in programs that no one else has done before.
Outside the planet?
When Bak and Karaszi began negotiations to fund a company that would combine the most advanced F1 virtual development capabilities with the latest Swiss digital finance to revamp the European auto industry, “most businessmen said we don’t let’s not live on this planet, ”he recalls. .
The only exception was Peller. “Stefan is also a car enthusiast and knowing how aircraft development works he certainly saw potential in our idea. Together we have built a world-class UK management team. Most of the people previously worked at McLaren Group in managerial positions, ”says Bak.
The Kincsem Hyper GT will be designed by Ian Callum CBE, described by Bak Motors as one of Britain’s most respected and famous car designers. Callum was previously design director for Jaguar, where he was responsible for models such as the I-Pace, F-Type, XK and XF.
Bak says the decision to reborn Kincsem as a luxury brand rests on two main pillars.
“The first is what Kincsem stands for. She has proven that nothing is impossible. She was a mare (unusual in horse racing then and now), and her exploits are still undefeated. We create products that are unbeatable in terms of beauty, performance and pedigree, ”he explains.
“Kincsem products have to be at the top of the automotive, fashion and tech world. That’s why our approach is different from other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). We choose the best of the best to create a Kincsem product.
He says the second pillar is more historic. “As Count István Széchenyi, a politician and writer known to many as ‘the greatest Hungarian’, brought racehorse culture to Hungary and technology from the UK at the end of the 19th century, we are bringing a capacity of automotive design and development in Hungary to support the first Hungarian brand.
He points out that while there are several foreign OEMs in Hungary and a very well-developed supply chain, there is no Hungarian car brand.
“Why? We have some of the most talented engineers in the world, and we can only support foreign auto brands with our talent and resources? Due to the digital industrial revolution, the rules of the last century will not apply at all. just more, ”he predicts.
New technologies are lowering barriers to entry and digital facilities are accessible across borders, says Bak.
Kincsem and his trainer, Róbert Hesp.
“European culture is much more colorful than what is currently represented in the European automotive industry. We need more Swiss, French and Polish electric vehicle brands in the future, and Bak Motors plans to support these entrants with its UK design and development partners and Swiss financing facilities, ”he said. declared.
The Kincsem brand will focus on two main target groups. The first is the so-called Very Wealthy People (UHNWI), who are often car, F1 and horse racing enthusiasts. The second group is made up of female entrepreneurs, who can tell their own story to Kincsem, as they are successful in business and know how to beat their male competitors.
As a luxury brand, Kincsem will showcase fashion products in the future, Bak said. It predicts that about 40% of UHNWIs in the United States will be women by 2025.
The company claims to have partnered with UK companies in the Formula 1 tech hub and plans to use a revolutionary chassis production method that cuts capital costs by 80%.
Initially there will be two vehicles, the GT and a luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV). The GT will be handcrafted in Britain, while the plan is to build the Hyper SUV in Hungary. The company has announced that it will move an F1-level virtual development platform to Hungary. This will allow the design and development of the car, alongside Hungarian suppliers, making the vehicle a Hungarian product.
Design and engineering have gone through two stages, and the company says it is ready to present the product 60% ready to early customers via virtual reality (VR). He claims that the revolutionary new simulation platform he uses allows him to design and test 95% of the entire car in virtual reality, reducing development time by 50-80%. The company says it is satisfied with its expected market entry deadline in 2025.
The second brand the company is developing is Helvetia, a Swiss-made product based on the same carbon-aluminum hybrid chassis used in the Kincsem SUV. However, everything else will be different in Helvetia and will rely on Swiss suppliers. It will position itself as a more affordable premium car with a production of more than 10,000 vehicles per year.
This article first appeared in the print issue of the Budapest Business Journal on May 21, 2021.