The popular Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series has always featured fictional cars with slight alterations from their real-life counterparts. Case in point, the GTA Banshee was inspired by the Dodge Viper, while the Karin Futo GT had its styling cues from the Toyota AE86.
But now, it looks like things have gone the other way around. A Xiaomi-backed Chinese EV startup company called Xiaopaoche (translates to small sports car) has revealed a car that will sit right at home in a GTA game. However, this one's different, as it's set to roll on Chinese roads.
Enter the SC-01. Taking the Lotus cars playbook of low weight and small size, the EV sports car looks promising. According to Sohu, the new model is designed with “pure driving pleasure” in mind and is intended to serve as China's national sports car. And indeed, it looks the part. The SC-01 has a spaceframe chassis, and its suspension utilizes race car-spec horizontal pushrod dampers.
Now while they chose the Lotus way of engineering the car's dynamics, they have taken a rather Italian approach to design. The silhouette reminds us of the Alfa Romeo 4C mid-engine sports car, but the rear gives hints of both the original and modernized Lancia Stratos. And once you look at its front end, it can be mistaken for a baby Lamborghini.
Prior to mass production, the SC-01 is reported to measure 4085 mm long, 1820 mm wide, and 1162 mm tall – close to an Alfa Romeo 4C's numbers. In addition, the Chinese EV startup is keeping the SC-01's weight below 1300 kg. And for an electric car, that's indeed featherweight.
Interestingly, the SC-01 has also gone the Lamborghini way when it comes to its powertrain layout. The front and rear electric motors make it an all-wheel-drive, but the battery pack is mounted in the middle of the car. This was intended to keep the driver close to the ground like a conventional mid-engine sports car.
The SC-01 is reported to have a combined power output of 435 PS and could sprint to 100 km/h from a standstill in under 3.9 seconds. In addition, reports also say the sports car has an all-electric range of more than 500 km.
While the interior was not shown, the SC-01, like traditional small sports cars, will have a minimalist interior that's likely to be designed with a pure focus on driving. Production is set to start by the end of next year, and the estimated price is reported to start at around RMB 300,000 (PHP 2.46-million).
There are no clear indications yet if the SC-01 will be offered to markets outside China. Considering the EV sports car has the fundamentals of a great handling car, it will be interesting to see how it would perform once it's finally out.