The flood of EV startups enables car designers to do very exciting work. While mainstream automakers produce endless crossovers with the same predictable truck-inspired design, Alpha Motors’ idea for a “crossover” is more like a vintage rally car than a modern electric vehicle.
Launched earlier this month, the Alpha Motors Jax is the latest in a line of tiny, retro-cute electric cars. Most of these cars won’t be available in the US, but Alpha Motors is an American company (based in Irvine, California). Maybe the Jax is a retro EV that we won’t miss. If Alpha Motors can get it into production, then it will.
The Jax, short for “Junior All-Terrain Crossover”, shares a basic platform and design with Alpha Motors’ Ace Coupé. Changes include a sturdy roof rack, front and rear push rods, and chunky tires. While the Ace is a proper two-door coupe, the Jax also appears to have a set of rear half-doors – much like the Mazda RX-8 sports car from the early 2000s.
The Jax is offered with single-engine front-wheel drive or twin-engine all-wheel drive and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, according to Alpha Motors. A 75-kilowatt-hour battery offers a range of 250 miles, according to the company. Alpha Motors also offers 62.5 cubic feet of “combined storage” (the car has a frunk) and a towing capacity of 1,850 pounds.
Alpha Motors Jax
In contrast to the retro exterior, the four-seat interior is reminiscent of the minimalist look of the Tesla Model 3 with a large central touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster on an otherwise bare dashboard. However, you won’t see any fabric door handles in a Tesla.
Alpha Motors is hoping the US will finally get a retro electric city car after missing out on that Honda E. and the latest Fiat 500e. The Renault 5 is expected to return as an electric car as well, but it’s a long way for the US
However, Alpha Motors is still a startup that hasn’t built a single car. So the Jax is far from safe.
Alpha Motors is currently taking reservations for the Jax, which will start at around $ 38,000, but has discussed a production schedule. This uncertainty is typical of the many EV startups that want to challenge established automakers.