At first glance, I thought this was a Aston Martin.
By Yahoo – Italian designer Umberto Palermo has founded a boutique car maker dubbed Mole that will build exclusive electric vehicles in extremely limited quantities. The company’s first two products — called Valentino and Luce, respectively — will be presented to the public in June during the Turin Auto Show.
Commissioned by a well-heeled customer, the Valentino is based on the Tesla Model S. Mole has fitted the electric sedan with a full carbon fiber body kit that includes a deeper front bumper with a splitter and Y-spoke accents that are conspicuously similar to the ones Lamborghini uses on its breed of high-end supercars. Red trim embedded in the headlights, 22-inch alloys, and a sprinkling of huge vertical Mole emblems further set the Valentino apart from the Model S.
Out back, the Valentino gets Mole-specific tail lamps with black bezels, an additional pair of Y-spoke accents, and an oversized air diffuser. In other words, it’s not for those looking to keep a low profile. Interior pictures haven’t been published yet, but it’s safe to assume that precious few components in the cabin still carry a Tesla parts number.
Power for the Valentino is provided by an all-electric drivetrain that sends 421 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. Interestingly, the sedan can drive for nearly 315 miles on a single charge, about ten miles farther than even the most capable S 90D.
The Luce takes a different approach to electric mobility. It’s a sleek-looking two-door coupe built on a tubular chassis, and with a body crafted out of a composite material that’s entirely recyclable. It gets an electric drivetrain that transfers 288 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels, figures that are more than sufficient in a car that tips the scale at just 2,600 pounds. The drivetrain’s origins weren’t revealed.
The Valentino is a one-off for the time being, but enthusiasts with enough cash can persuade Mole to build a second example. As for the Luce, it’s just a concept but it signals the company’s intent to manufacture high-end limited-edition cars. Mole’s product plan calls for the production of anywhere between 30 and 90 examples of each model destined for Europe, Japan, and the United States. Be warned: coach-built Italian cars have never been cheap, and these likely won’t be the exception to the rule.