Actually, MW Motors wanted to bring the Luka EV onto the market a good four years ago. But the Czechs saw room for improvement - and are now presenting a renewed version.
In April 2018, MW Motors presented a coupé with an electric drive and a retro design called the Luka EV. A timely production was explicitly announced at the time. Well, a good four and a half years later, the Luka EV is still not on the market. But it has already had two facelifts: first a purely technical one and now an optical one on top of that. The Czechs, who have already launched a rustic electric off-roader based on the UAZ (see video), promise a car "that you can look forward to". Well then...
Visually, the new Luka EV represents an evolution of the old one - as a kind of modern retro coupé. Two radiator grilles have become one, which is also only hinted at. The headlights are further indented into the fender and the wing mirrors present a more streamlined shape. In addition, the chrome strips around the side windows have disappeared, the rear fenders are widened and the 17-inch wheels now have a different design.
From Mercedes 300 SL to US tailfin
But the Luka EV is still a wild design mix of some historical car role models. The front lights are reminiscent of the Datsun Z series, the decorative element above the front wheel arches on the Mercedes 190 and 300 SL - and the air outlet below on the BMW 507. We know the course of the rear side window in a similar way from the Aston Martin DB4, among others GT Zagato, those of the rear window of US classics of the fifties and sixties - just like the tail fins. Small round taillights were popular in the good old car era anyway.
Inside, the Luka EV gets a new dashboard and more comfortable - because wider - seats. In the event of a breakdown, remote diagnostics should be possible.
So far, MW Motors has only been vague about the technology. One thing is clear: the improved Luka EV will have a new chassis that has been optimized for electric drives. The team from near the beer town of Pilsen wants to give the electric coupe a low center of gravity and a 50:50 weight distribution and consequently promises "excellent handling". The steering and braking system have also changed compared to the earlier Luka EV.
Luka EV as a "high-voltage car"
The same applies to the now liquid-cooled electric motor, the battery pack and the on-board charger. MW Motors also announces a "high-voltage car", which should therefore be able to charge quickly.
The two previous versions of the Luka EV may give hints as to what to expect from the new variant in terms of technology. Initially, MW Motors wanted to install four wheel hub motors that should deliver a total of 50 kW (68 hp).The coupé, which weighs only 815 kilograms, should go from zero to one hundred in 9.6 seconds, and the top speed promised was 146 km/h. The Czechs promised a range of around 300 kilometers at the time. Torque vectoring? traction control? recuperation? Everything was planned.
In the next development step, MW Motors changed the chassis and installed a new chassis, which, in combination with the lighter wheels, should minimize vibrations. At the same time, the Czechs distanced themselves from the wheel hub motors and instead gave the Luka EV a single large electric motor, namely a permanently excited synchronous motor. The main reason for this: a lower noise level and, of course, more power (55 kW or 75 hp).
Will it stay at 30,000 euros?
However, the driving performance deteriorated: 9.8 seconds from zero to 100 km/h and a top speed of 140 km/h. Why? Probably mainly because the Luka EV was significantly heavier (886 kilograms). In the intermediate technical step, the two-part battery had a capacity of 26.4 kilowatt hours and should enable a range of 310 kilometers.
We are curious to see what technical data the production version of the Luka EV will present. And whether MW Motors can keep the originally scheduled price of 30,000 euros (excluding VAT and delivery). The manufacturer wants to produce its electric retro coupe with right-hand and left-hand drive and have gone through the homologation process in the first half of 2023.
When coupés with electric drives are presented these days, they are mostly high-end models with four-digit performance values and correspondingly extreme prices. MW Motors is taking a different approach with the Luka EV: manageable performance, low costs and a fundamentally undemanding nature. Whether the concept works will depend above all on whether the target clientele likes the design.