Electric startup Mullen reveals concept SUV in LA

US electric vehicle startup Mullen has just revealed its Five electric SUV at the 2021 LA motor show, with prices starting at $75k.

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Jack Quick
Jack Quick
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US electric vehicle (EV) start-up Mullen has revealed an electric crossover concept called the Five at the 2021 Los Angeles motor show.

The current ambitious plan is for production to commence in late 2023, with US deliveries slated for the second quarter of 2024.

The first question you’re bound to be asking yourself is, what’s Mullen?

It’s a California-based company that was founded by CEO David Michery after acquiring both CODA Automotive and Mullen Motor Cars in 2014.

A publicly-traded company as of November 5, 2021, Mr Michery’s vision is “driving a new future of sustainable transport options for consumers”. That’s bold.

This has all culminated with the official reveal of the Five that’s been designed in the US – with the company also planning to engineer and build it there.

The plan is to have three different trim levels available at launch, starting at US$55,000 (A$75,546) for the entry-level Five EV and extending to US$75,000 (A$103,018).

Powering the entry-level model is a dual-electric motor powertrain designed with partner Hofer, with a single-speed gearbox that’s good for a claimed 0-60mp/h (96km/h) sprint time of 3.2 seconds.

This is mated to a 95kWh lithium-ion battery pack that Mullen claims offers a range of up to 523km, although the company doesn’t state what efficiency standard it uses to calculate this.

It also claims that it can be charged up to 80 per cent in 20 minutes.

Next up is the Touring trim level that features a tri-electric motor setup that Mullen claims can do the 0-60mp/h sprint in an insane 1.9 seconds. It also has a claimed top speed of over 321km/h.

There’s also apparently going to be a sporty, performance-oriented Five RS trim level at the top-of-the-range that has an optional package including carbon-ceramic Brembo brake rotors.

All Five models will feature a torque vectoring system for performance and stability.

More configurations of the Five will be announced closer to its launch.

The plan is for the Mullen Five to be produced at the company’s 11,798 square metre Tunica manufacturing plant in Mississippi that’s currently undergoing renovations to add a body, paint, and general assembly facilities totalling 111,483 square metres.

It’ll be constructed with ‘mixed materials’, but mainly use ultra-high-strength steel.

The Five has been designed by Thurner Designs, that has previously penned vehicles for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin among others.

The firm was tasked with creating an electric SUV “that makes your heart beat faster when you see it”.

Building two drive-able prototype models, the team at Thurner Designs crafted the exterior of the Five to have a “very strong and confident EV face” whilst having a traditional crossover SUV silhouette.

At launch there’ll be the option of 20-, 22- and 23-inch wheels to choose from.

Inside the Five the team at Thurner Designs created the interior to “offer warmth, sculpture reduction and calm”.

Available as a four- or five-seat configuration, Mr Thurner sees the interior as an “extension of the living space”.

There’s a traditional central infotainment touchscreen and driver’s cluster, ‘Living Room Lighting mode’, active noise-cancelling sound system, as well as an air humidifier and purifier.

Touring models gain an additional screen in the centre console for rear passengers that can be used to adjust climate control as well as for entertainment.

On the safety front there are eight cameras around the vehicle and a claimed Level 2.5 advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).

On the B-pillars there are a cameras and displays on each side that can detect the driver from up to 2.7 metres away and opens the door, turns the car on and sets the Five up for the particular driver profile.

There’s also a very Tesla-like ‘Security’ and ‘Dog’ modes that uses the the central screen and B-pillar displays to warn others that the vehicle is alarmed or cool inside.

Mullen is currently taking US$100 (A$137) refundable deposits for the Five.

Once customers have reserved a Five, Mullen will get in contact to confirm the reservation and begin customisation and ordering options for the vehicle.

Mullen will be offering the Five with a 60 month/96,560km (60,000 miles) warranty for the vehicle, with a 10-year warranty for the battery.

The company is also offering a program called ‘Home Assist’ that will help all Mullen Five owners to install a Level 2 EV charger at their home.

In the pipeline as well, Mullen is currently working on a fleet of EV commercial vans as well as an electric sports car known as the Dragonfly.

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Jack Quick
Jack Quick
Jack Quick is a Journalist at CarExpert.
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