Think Tesla’s Cybertruck Is Too Much? Lordstown’s New Electric Pickup Is Aimed at Traditionalists
The all-electric Endurance looks to beat Elon's Musk's angular pickup to market.
BY RACHEL CORMACK ON NOVEMBER 26, 2019
Welcome to 2019, when pickup trucks have somehow become a preferred canvas for automakers’ wildest fever dreams. From Tesla’s oddly geometrical Cybertruck to Bollinger’s brick-like pickup, it seems like marques are either trying to out-future or out-retro each other when it comes to EV truck design. For traditionalists who may not want to look like they’re driving inside a dystopian sci-fi flick, however, a new battery-powered pickup from Lordstown Motors hopes to offer an appealing alternative.
Lordstown claims that its all-electric Endurance truck will be the first production vehicle to utilize a 4-wheel-drive hub-motor system—a design that reduces the number of moving parts and subsequently decreases breakdowns, as well as running and maintenance costs. The marque is sourcing the electric motors from Workhorse Group in the hopes of beating its rivals to market.
The under-the-hood specifics are still to come, but the renderings show a traditional four-cab with modern front end, closed-off front fascia, slim headlamps, and simple lines. “The truck is engineered to be lightweight, with all-wheel drive and a low center of gravity, while maintaining ground clearance,” according to a representative for Lordstown. Of course, all that engineering will cost you. The Lordstown Endurance is priced at $52,500, before tax credits, which is almost $13,000 more than the base price of the Cybertruck.
Lordstown acquired a General Motors factory in Ohio earlier this year, paving the way for the marque to begin production of EV truck. The Endurance is now slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2020, which means that it will beat Elon’s polygonal creation to market by a few months.
While there’s a solid team behind the new pickup—Steve Burns is the founder of both Workhorse and Lordstown, plus ex-Tesla manufacturing chief Rich Schmidt and former senior executives from General Motors, Volkswagen, and Karma are also onboard—the promised delivery date seems aggressive. We have yet to see a prototype—even if the window shattered, we still saw a Cybertruck—which means the marque will have to develop a full-fledged production vehicle in 12 months. If you’re a gambling man, Lordstown is now taking $1,000 deposits for late-2020 delivery.
2018 Porsche Panamera
Aston Martin Valkyrie
The Aston Martin Valkyrie—the brainchild of Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing—is an aerodynamic moonshot that runs right at the limits of a V-12 hypercar, and now we have an inside look into where the $3.2 million land rocket is in its progress towards production.
At last weekend’s Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Tex., Christian Horner, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team principal, has illuminated where Valkyrie is in the development and testing phase.
“Well, it’s all in the simulation world at the moment, but it’s highly encouraging. It’s going to be an incredible car, it’s going to be an iconic car, and it should start running just before Christmas this year, or the early part of next year. It’ll start track testing and then we’ll see it, but in the simulation world it’s highly impressive.”
Horner says Valkyrie has been a 3.5 year process, and now it’s about getting the production parts built, which he likens to “parts of a Swiss clock,” in terms of precision. But the Cosworth-supplied engine has already begun dyno-testing, as has the transmission and other individual parts. What’s left, is to bring everything together, and see if the real-world outcome is on par with expectations.
Like the Mercedes-AMG Project One, Valkyrie builds heavily on engineering and aerodynamic work harnessed from racing. Says Horner: “There’s an awful lot of DNA that’s coming out of Formula 1, but of course as a closed-wheel car, and here is an opportunity without the regulation constraints that there are in Formula 1.”
Adrian Newey, renowned aerodynamic wizard and head of Red Bull Racing, has been given the freedom to push the boundaries on Aston’s hypercar and it shows in the results, according to Horner. “The diffuser on it is insane, and the amount of downforce it generates is insane, it’s basically a diffuser on wheels.”
Aston Martin Valkyrie
Horner says that despite being a road car, and even on road tires, he believes Valkyrie would be competitive in Formula 2. Aston Martin is also building a track-only special, the Valkyrie AMR Pro, that does away with the road components and is essentially the closest hypercar to an F1 racer. The AMR Pro version will be limited to only 25 examples, all of which have already been spoken for.