Turkey’s Automobile: An In-Depth Look At TOGG’s New C-SUV
TOGG Chief Executive Officer Mehmet Gürcan Karakas explained during a forum in Istanbul earlier this year why he felt compelled to help Turkey establish its first mobility brand. “Everything begins with a dream,” Karakas said. “Once I was the General Director of Bosch Turkey and Board of Directors member, we always questioned ourselves that ‘why don’t we manufacture an automobile with our own brand in Turkey?'”
TOGG is a collection of five Turkish industry powerhouses and the nation’s largest, non-governmental organization. Anadolu Grubu, BMC, Kök Grubu, Turkcell, Zorlu Holding, and The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) partnered in June of 2018 to establish Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group Inc., or Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girisim Grubu (TOGG).
“We have started the journey to realize our long-awaited dream,” Karakas said. “Within this process, we have observed the signs of paramount transformation and decided that we need to achieve more than just the development of a car and a brand.”
TOGG is the realization of a 60-year dream for Turkey, one that will become the nation’s first global mobility brand. The organization says they will focus on developing electric, autonomous, and connected vehicles with zero emissions.
Recently, TOGG unveiled a prototype C-SUV and a concept sedan during a public event in IT Valley in Gebze, Turkey. TOGG will invest heavily in their manufacturing base in the next two years and launch the C-SUV in 2022. TOGG has ambitious goals for their C-SUV, saying it will have best-in-class features, including performance and acceleration, and the lowest cost of ownership.
The C-SUV, billed as “Turkey’s Automobile,” will ride on an all-electric and connected platform built by TOGG’s engineers, with Turkey owning the intellectual property rights. TOGG will employ modular architectures to support future vehicles.
“We will have a portfolio of five models that will address different needs in the market by 2030,” Karakas explained. “Our project will contribute 50 billion dollars to our national GDP, and seven billion Euros to the current account trade deficit in the 15 years following 2022.”
TOGG worked with Italian design firm Pininfarina on the C-SUV’s styling. The idea was to create something that appeals to both Turkish and global consumers. Similar to how Toyota, Infiniti, and Mazda employ elements of Japanese culture for vehicle design, TOGG pulled from Anatolian culture. For example, a tulip design runs through the front grille and wheels, helping give the vehicle its distinct look. The tulip has a rich history in Turkey.
Although sleek, Turkey’s Automobile is more than just a pretty face. The architecture supports a number of active and passive safety features, including seven standard airbags. TOGG says they are targeting a 5-Star safety rating from EuroNCAP when the C-SUV is launched in 2022.
TOGG says the C-SUV will have the longest wheelbase in its class for more headroom and legroom. Turkey’s Automobile seats five inside a cabin largely devoid of physical buttons and knobs. By using state-of-the-art touchscreens, voice-command technology, and minimalist ergonomics, TOGG wants more than just a normal interior; but rather something that functions as a smart living space.
“Today’s automobile is no longer a vehicle moving from point A to point B,” Karakas explained. “It is transforming into a smart device and a computer, and it is transforming into a third living space, after home and work.”
Turkey’s Automobile is permanently connected to the internet through its architecture, making it a full-time rolling hotspot. The vehicle pairs with mobile devices, communicates with smart homes and buildings, and any other infrastructure elements that happen to be connected. The C-SUV can also receive over-the-air software updates.
The C-SUV offers two different battery packs with liquid thermal management systems. The first provides about 200 miles of range while the second offers over 300 miles of range. TOGG says the batteries can reach an 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes.
All-wheel drive is available as is rear-wheel drive. Those who like a more powerful vehicle will want to opt for all-wheel drive. Turkey’s Automobile, with a single e-motor and rear-wheel drive, produces 200 horsepower and hits 62 mph in 7.6 seconds.
By comparison, all-wheel drive models use a second e-motor to double horsepower to 400. One e-motor is positioned on the front axle while the other lives on the rear axle. Turkey’s Automobile, in an all-wheel drive configuration, hits 62 mph in 4.8 seconds.
Both models feature ventilated disc brakes, front and rear.
The C-SUV will have Level 2 autonomous driving capability, but will eventually support Level 3 capability in the future via its “flexible architecture topology.” While we have yet to learn everything about Turkey’s Automobile, it appears the vehicle will offer the some of the most advanced technology to date, like augmented reality. For example, Holographic Assistant replaces certain 2D displays (like navigation) with 3D images.
As TOGG continues to develop the C-SUV and other vehicles, the company is focused on working with their business partners, including smaller startups. Beyond automobiles, TOGG is hoping to facilitate a cleaner, more viable ecosystem for future generations.
“As one of the most excited members of the most anticipated project of Turkey, I am fully aware of our tremendous responsibility,” Karakas said. “This new world is a domain that is open to new ideas, governed by new technologies and values.”
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Society of Automotive Historians. Anthony has worked in experiential marketing roles for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Volvo, and Local Motors over the years.
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