Is There Room for Another Six-Figure EV SUV Startup?

The Aehra appears to answer the question of what the Lamborghini Gallardo would look like as a crossover for the school run.

2022 aehra suv concept
  • EV startup Aehra reveals electric SUV model, envisioned to enter production in 2025.
  • The SUV promises a range of around 500 miles, dual-motor layout with 804 hp, and a starting price around $140,000.
  • The Aehra SUV was styled by Filippo Perini, formerly of Lamborghini, and features an unsurprising number of Lamborghini design cues.

    We would have thought that by now there were enough six-figure all-electric sedans and SUVs on the market to satisfy those wishing to part with six figures stat, with Faraday Future still eyeing this fleeting demographic. But it appears there is room for one more challenger seeking to combine the SUV and sedan body styles into one.

    Say buongiorno to the Aehra SUV, which was first mentioned over the summer with the launch of the startup as a "global ultra premium electric automotive brand," promising a sedan and an SUV by 2025. Based in Milan, Aehra seeks so combine the elegance of Italian design and American customer service with global engineering, in the company's words.

    "We created Aehra with an undiluted vision to tackle some of the fundamental shortcomings in the current global automotive industry," says Hazim Nada, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Aehra. "First, to create truly desirable electric cars that are conceptualized from the onset as electric, without the overhang of combustion legacy mindsets, and basing them upon Italian design that finally optimize the benefits which EV design affords, both inside and out."

    2022 aehra suv concept
    The Aehra is positioned as an SUV, but still seems very sedan-like, and also appears to preview a crossover that Lamborghini never built.

    The SUV of the planned two-model lineup has now been revealed in Milan, featuring remarkably sedan-like proportions with a long, three-meter wheelbase, short overhangs, and a spacious cabin. The concept was penned by Filippo Perini, formerly of Lamborghini, which actually explains an awful lot because in profile it looks like a Gallardo that had been turned into a bulbous but aerodynamic crossover, keeping the traditional Lambo doors. The Aehra is sized large enough to permit four NBA-size players to sit in comfort, the company points out.

    "With the Aehra SUV, we have shunned the conservative constraints that have encumbered all other car manufacturers in their approach to designing (electric) vehicles to date. Instead, we have taken a highly courageous approach," said Perini, the startup's chief design officer.

    Aehra used computational fluid dynamics to engineer the flowing body of the SUV, focusing on aerodynamic efficiency and using active elements at the front and rear.

    The company hasn't revealed many powertrain specs yet, aside from targeting a curb weight below 4000 pounds, which would make it one of the lighter offerings given its planned length of 200 inches and a height of 64.5 inches (one inch taller than a Chevy Bolt), and a target range of 800 km or 497 miles. When it comes to performance, the SUV is intended to serve up between 737 and 804 hp, while offering a top speed of 164 mph.

    Such a range would require a battery around the 110-kWh mark if the Lucid Air is any indication, before other factors are considered, but Aehra will be attempting to hit the same sweet spot with slightly different dimensions.

    Aehra already has a price in mind for the SUV: $140,000 to $180,000, which is not far from Lucid's pricier variants.

    But quite a lot has to happen between now and 2025 to bring Aehra's SUV into reality, including finding or building a factory, for starters. Relatively little has been said by the company about that aspect of launching a new EV brand.

    2022 aehra suv concept
    The field of electric SUVs with price tags over $100,000 is set to grow, amid a dwindling number of truly affordable EVs.

    Will Aehra succeed where so many others have failed over the past decade?

    The good news for the startup is that an electric SUV with a price tag between $100,000 and $200,000 has certainly become normalized over the past five years, so the company won't get much pushback from its target audience.

    Just how much of a sport utility it will be in the classic definition, on the other hand, will be up for debate, but it's certainly helpful that the Jaguar I-Pace and the very bulbous Tesla Model X did a lot of the early work to distort and dilute this definition.

    But it probably won't be anyone's first choice to explore some fire roads in the Pacific Northwest or camp near Mount Rainier, while the Rivian R1S would be, and is an actual SUV.

    Those looking for something a bit more sedan-like from the same automaker will be in luck, as Aehra plans to reveal the planned model in February of next year.

    Does the Aehra SUV push your buttons? Please comment below.

    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
    More From Electric Vehicles