Foxconn is going into the electric car business. Yes, that Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant best known for manufacturing iPhones, Nintendos, Playstations, XBOXes, and a lot more. Pulling in about US$180 billion in revenue in 2020, it’s got the money to do what it likes, including getting Italian design studio Pininfarina on board to pen its first luxury sedan.

Foxconn is putting somewhere between US$1 and 2 billion into establishing new facilities in Thailand, where it’s building a manufacturing plant, an engineering R&D center and supply chain management. It expects to be producing about 50,000 cars a year in two to three years, and will extend that to 150,000 a year in reasonably short order.

Perhaps it makes sense; electric cars are probably closer to the domain of technology manufacturers than traditional automotive companies. The powertrains are so much simpler, and electronics and software dominate so much of the cars now. Foxconn is moving to hire 2,500 software specialists over the next three years to develop and roll out its Smart Gateway, Smart Cockpit, and Smart Autonomous Driving packages, among others.

At the company’s Hon Hai Tech Day 2021, it debuted its first three vehicles under a new “Foxtron” brand: a Model C compact, a Model T urban bus, and this, the Model E sedan, jointly developed with Pininfarina. Roughly pitched alongside the Tesla Model S, the Model E will make around 750 horsepower and accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in around 2.8 seconds. Range per charge will be around 750 km (466 miles), so it’s unlikely to constrain most drivers.

OK, it's not the sexiest thing that's ever had Pininfarina written on it

OK, it’s not the sexiest thing that’s ever had Pininfarina written on it

Foxconn (Hon Hai)

The rear seat is designed to “transform into a dedicated mobile office,” although it’s unclear at this stage exactly what that means beyond a swiveling touchscreen and a front passenger seat that folds right forward so you can put things on it.

The exterior uses some fancy light surfaces to “communicate with the outside world,” the doors will unlock via facial recognition, the dash is giant and colorful, the mirrors are cameras, and that’s about all the company’s willing to divulge at this point.

White leather interior with a generous set of dash screens

White leather interior with a generous set of dash screens

Foxconn (Hon Hai)

Let’s call a spade a shovel; this ain’t the prettiest thing that’s ever had Pininfarina written on the side of it. But it’s tidy enough, and even if this does look like an incredibly audacious play from a company without prior experience in the grueling world of automotive, it’d be a brave man that laid a bet against a massive company like this one with such extensive experience in high-end electronics.

Check out a video below.

Discover the Model E luxury sedan, the electric car designed by Pininfarina for Hon Hai (Foxconn)

Source: Foxconn (Hon Hai)