Trend 6.21 Drako GTE FIRST DRIVE
Motor Trend|June 2021
The Drako Is the EV of Enthusiasts’ Dreams
MAC MORRISON & NELSON IRESON

Successful software entrepreneurs, lifelong automotive enthusiasts, and Drako Motors co-founders Dean Drako and Shiv Sikand aren’t interested in being Tesla. “Tesla only sells one kind of car, a commuter car,” Sikand says. “It can be driven cross-country with Superchargers, but at the end of the day it’s a commuter car. [We’re building] a better-driving car.”

That car is the 1,200-hp, four-motor Drako GTE. Ex-Pininfarina design director Lowie Vermeersch reworked its body, based on Fisker Karma architecture, so only the door skins are the same. More important, all the bits you can’t see have been overhauled thoroughly. A multipart battery pack feeds an electric motor at each wheel, and proprietary Drako DriveOS software aims to deliver a driving experience unlike any other.

The package yields, the company says, “unprecedented yaw control, handling precision, and vehicle stability.” Such capability is a critical selling point, given the car’s limited run of 25 examples and its staggering $1.25 million price.

“Wait, what?” you ask. “I can buy an entire pile of sporty EVs for that price!” This is where the broader context surrounding the Drako GTE is key. It is an ambitious project, and Drako’s business model combined with the cost of independently developing such a vehicle makes the car a nonstarter at any lower amount.

More important, though, is how Drako aims to go beyond the ideas of automotive one-upmanship, of saving the planet or providing bladder-busting electric range. The development team and executive ranks are stuffed with driving enthusiasts consumed with advancing the automobile as a driver’s tool through any available means. “If we could use nuclear power, we would,” Sikand says. “Battery electric power is just what is available today [to achieve our performance goals].”

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