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EV startup unveils new retro-looking electric car with in-wheel hub motors

Czech electric car startup MW Motors unveiled a new lightweight and retro-looking all-electric vehicle powered by in-wheel hub motors.

Restomods, which consists of restoring old vehicles with modern mechanical parts, like a new engine, suspension and brakes, are becoming increasingly popular as many car enthusiasts like to the look of classic cars, but they don’t like how they drive.

The trend is also popular with electric conversion projects, but now automakers are even getting on board with new models.

Honda is bringing to market its own EVs with some retro designs and VW is making a new all-electric and autonomous version of its retro microbus – though they are significantly updating the design.

Now it’s the turn of an EV startup to get on board with the trend.

Earlier this month, MW Motors unveiled the latest version – production ready – of the ‘Luka EV’, an all-electric coupé with a retro-looking design:

But the Luka EV’s look is not even the most interesting thing about this new electric vehicle.

MW Motors is using in-wheel hub motors, which is not exactly a new concept, but it hasn’t really been implemented in a significant way by automakers.

They are using 4 motors in the wheels delivering 4 x 12,5 kW for a total output of about 50 kW (66 hp).

The motors are powered by a very small 21.9 kWh battery pack, which MW Motors claims is enough for up to 300 km (186 miles) of range.

It’s hard to believe until you hear how much the whole car weights: 815 kg (~1,800 lbs).

Of course, we are talking about a small two-seater here, but it’s still an impressively low weight and yet, the company claims that you will still find all the features you’d expect to find in a modern car.

MW Motors plans to bring the vehicle to market for a somewhat reasonable 30,000 EUR ($36,900 USD) starting price.

Electrek’s Take

There are many big pros to in-wheel hub motors, but a single even bigger con has stopped most automakers from using them in production cars.

They are great for weight distribution, a low center of gravity, passenger and cargo space, and they also give an opportunity for torque vectoring, which MW Motors employs for the Luka EV.

But the wheels are also one of the components that take the most damage in a car.

It’s not the best idea to put a critical and relatively expensive component in them.

Maybe MW Motors found a way to make them so robust that it is not an issue anymore, but we have no clear indication of that at this point.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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