Currently reading: British-designed WEVC Coupe 'reinvents' the EV
Electric two-door promises Porsche 356a-inspired design, sub-1000kg weight and 230-mile range

Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC), the Newquay-based niche vehicle firm that recently unveiled an all-new lightweight EV platform designed specifically for low-volume applications, has launched an £81,250 own-design coupé that combines the innovative new chassis architecture with styling reminiscent of a 1950s Porsche 356A.

The car is designed as a flagship for WEVC’s new chassis system (called PACES, for Passenger And Commercial EV Skateboard) and to show that with careful development, modern EVs can reap the benefits of lightness that few volume battery-electric models achieve at present.

The new car, officially called the WEVC Coupé, has already undergone 10 months of successful dynamic prototype testing and development. Advanced development will continue for several more months until work begins on the first 21 individually tailored launch-edition cars, to be built at WEVC’s Cornish HQ. First deliveries begin early next year.

Although the car’s styling recalls a 1950s icon, the WEVC Coupé has a modern, simple interior design. Its all-composite body incorporates dozens of changes to the familiar shape, to improve aerodynamics and offer the high standards of surfacing and panel fit that today’s customers expect.

Under the skin, the WEVC Coupé bristles with state-of-the-art design innovations that allow it to comply with all relevant ISO regulations and safety standards yet deliver a kerb weight below 1000kg – even though it carries a 40kWh battery, giving a WLTP range of 230 miles. The single, compact, mid-mounted electric motor produces 161bhp, drives the rear wheels and covers 0-62mph in just over 5.0sec.

3 Wevc coupe front

Neil Yates, founder and owner of WEVC, said his new car represents two debuts for the company: its first all-new vehicle and the first application for the PACES platform. Yates, who has more than 20 years’ experience of building niche vehicles and highly successful competition cars, said the focus with the WEVC Coupé is on building “a light, engaging sports car at the opposite end of the spectrum from the current trend towards hugely powerful but heavy electric supercars”.

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Yates also said: “Our car will maximise driver engagement and real-world enjoyment. With double-wishbone suspension, 16in wheels and 60-profile tyres, it has a comfortable ride, excellent steering feel and a handling balance that is entertaining and exploitable, rather than simply chasing outright grip.

“With compact dimensions, good packaging and a tight turning circle, we believe the WEVC Coupé will be just as much at home in the centre of London as on a twisty rural B-road.”

Like many bigger-volume creations, the PACES platform is a bonded aluminium ‘skateboard’ but it offers two key refinements: a battery case integrated into the primary structure (a major weight saver) and a freedom from complex corner castings that add greatly to cost.

Instead, PACES has a range of clever, ready-made and lightweight extrusions that bond and interlock to deliver extremely accurate and rigid structures using a new technique called FlexTech. This dramatically lowers costs (and thus allows low-volume manufacture) because it needs very little investment in tooling or post-assembly machining.

Yates believes PACES will suit a wide variety of lowvolume applications, from quadricycle-style city cars to trucks and buses. Since Autocar exclusively broke news of the PACES concept earlier this year, Yates reports “lively” worldwide interest in the technology from a variety of sources. He expects production applications to follow “before too long”.


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Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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Andrew1 17 March 2021
Because EVs desperately needed reinventing?
LP in Brighton 17 March 2021

I think this car is more a demonstartion of what's possible with the new chassis structure rather than a serious sales proposition. By showing a complete car, the firm is probably hoping to attract further investment or a partnership, I'd be surprised if any actual cars get sold. 

sabre 17 March 2021

The psychology of marketing is strange to me: Who is fascinated by an expensive innovative Porsche 356 lookalike electric car that is not made by Porsche?


si73 17 March 2021
All those who buy chesils etc
TS7 17 March 2021
si73 wrote:

All those who buy chesils etc


What is a chesil?

si73 18 March 2021
TS7 wrote:

si73 wrote:

All those who buy chesils etc


What is a chesil?

Chesil speedsters are kit cars based on a beetle that look like Porsche 356 open top sports cars, chesil has been making kits or factory building cars for decades and is owned, I believe, by Westfield. I'm pretty sure there's other kit cars that look similar to the 356, as there are many that look like AC cobras, but Chesil seems to have a very good name and reputation for its cars, even featuring in Autocar on occasion. They're quite pricey mind.