Togg T10X Driving Report: The Turkish Tesla: How good is Erdogan's new electric car?

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The Togg 10X is becoming a Turkish prestige item. The electric crossover impresses with a digital ecosystem in which artificial intelligence even creates radio playlists and good charging performance.

Electric cars are like the gold rush in the western United States. Everyone smells like a lot of money and new electric car companies continue to emerge like mushrooms. Tesla provides the recipe: focus on the important elements of the car, buy the rest, build a factory above ground, and ensure an adequate load-bearing structure. Basically, any self-proclaimed automaker with the necessary capital can do it. Suppliers are plentiful and the art of building a powerful and highly efficient combustion engine is no longer necessary. This means that a technological advantage of established car manufacturers is no longer possible.

Togg in the cabin: Second living room

This is exactly the strategy that Togg follows. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has handed over his position and has found in Gürcan Karakas a CEO who knows the automotive business inside and out. “We want to be more than just a car manufacturer,” says the man with a slight Swabian accent. No wonder: Karakas worked at Bosch for more than 20 years and was responsible, among other things, for the Asian business. This bath of steel now helps the kind-eyed man because he has drawn his conclusions from this moment.

The technical father of Togg was at Bosch

This is immediately noticeable as soon as you get behind the wheel of the Togg TX10. Because you're looking at an XXXL display, which consists of a 12.3-inch instrument display and a 29-inch monitor that basically stretches from A-pillar to A-pillar. Coast-to-Coast called it Byton, the Turkish automaker is implementing its vision. However, the Togg variant does not impair the field of vision, as was the case with the Chinese start-up's vehicles. Togg does not depend on Apple or Google, but has developed its own operating system which, like a smartphone, includes an application store. Apps are dragged and dropped onto the home screen and the phone charges wirelessly on a charging pad.

Operation works without major problems, although the menus are a bit complicated. We are glad of a rotary push button like the one we know from BMW, which, however, does not have the tactile quality of the Munich original. Another monitor above the center console is used to adjust the air conditioning and configure the overhead displays. This means that the passenger can create his or her own entertainment program.

Electric drive and modern operation.

Togg calls the cabin a second living room and the infotainment has been designed accordingly. To achieve this, the Turkish automaker has brought in big players from almost every sector of the country's economy, including Turkish Airlines. Here you can listen to the radio, conduct business, buy airline tickets and order them from online mail order companies, shop at Migros, Turkey's largest supermarket chain, or even complete your tax return in one system. “We have developed our own ecosystem,” explains Gürcan Karakas.

That's why there is also its own currency, Toggen (onomatopoeically similar to the English word “token”). Just like on an airline, you accumulate miles or other points for transactions and activities, which you can convert into Toggen, for example, to recharge your batteries at the charging station. But entertainment is also offered: thanks to artificial intelligence, the AI ​​radio creates playlists that adapt to the user's tastes based on the selected musical genre.

Own “ecosystem” for digital functions

Screens are also used to create digital works of art. With such a huge production, Togg already made a splash at the CES technology fair. Bit-and-byte graphics now adorn the exterior walls of the Gemlik factory. Some functions are activated by facial recognition in the car. The camera is also used to take selfies. “We are serious about digitalization,” says the Togg boss. None of this sounds like Tesla, but more like Apple.

Despite all the software's capabilities, a vehicle like the Togg TX10 still has to get its passengers from A to B. And as comfortably as possible. Just like you use a smartphone primarily to make phone calls and not just to take photos or watch TikTok videos. The Turkish SUV fulfills its basic competencies decently. Even if the steering column is too short, the seats could offer more lateral support. We are looking at the top of the range T10X AWD Long Range model with 320 kW / 435 HP, a maximum torque of 700 Newton meters, all-wheel drive and a battery with a capacity of 88.5 kilowatt hours, which should last a maximum of 468 kilometers . according to the WLTP cycle. The motors, of course, come from Bosch.

All-wheel drive and 435 HP, thinking about the German market

Even without rear axle steering, the 4.60 meter long Togg 10X should have a turning radius of 9.50 meters. The 2,165 kilogram vehicle can move with corresponding agility. Thanks to electric power, the TX10 can also move forward enthusiastically if it so wishes. The electric car completes the standard acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and that's it at 185 km/h. Togg states that the average consumption is 19.7 kWh/100. The three driving modes Eco, Comfort and Sport are selected using the left of the two buttons located at the front of the rising center console. It's a little complicated at first, but after a while you get used to it. The one on the right is for three-stage recovery strength plus glide.

If you choose the strongest setting, you'll be able to move the electric SUV with the popular one-pedal drive. The chassis is comfortably tuned. We also drove the basic rear-wheel drive variant with 160 kW/218 hp and 350 Nm of torque, which takes 7.8 seconds to accelerate as standard, and we found this engine sufficient. With the large battery it is 523 km, if you choose the version there are still 314 km.

Togg with ranges between 314 and 523 km

When it comes to electric charging, the Togg can easily keep pace with competitors like the Skoda Enyaq or the VW ID.4. On the contrary: not all competitors can achieve 22 kW on an AC column. At an 11 kW charging point, the batteries are charged from 20 to 80 percent in 345 minutes. If you control a DC fast charging station, the Stromer 10X can reach a maximum of 180 kW. Then it will only take you 28 minutes. For this to be possible in Turkey, 1,000 fast charging stations should be installed along the main traffic arteries.

Türkiye plans fast charging stations on highways and interurban roads

The TX10 offers a lot in terms of driving assistants: adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, traffic jam assistant and parking assistant are also on board. The 10X is scheduled to arrive in Germany at the end of the year. It remains to be seen if the digital experience can be replicated here one-to-one. It is very possible that Amazon and Co. will get involved in this platform.

Prices between 40,000 and 65,000 euros

In Germany, the sale of a maximum of 2,000 to 3,000 cars is planned. In 2025 there should be many more. With 1.5 million citizens holding a Turkish passport, the rolling national pride will surely also be in demand between Flensburg and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Prices for Germany have not yet been determined. In Türkiye it costs around 40,000 euros, the top version should cost more than 65,000 euros. As in Turkey, sales will be made directly and so-called experience centers will be created in large cities such as Munich, Berlin and Hamburg. “You have to take the bull by the horns”; Karakas is radiant and already making plans for the future. Additional models are expected to generate sales over the next five years. A saloon (10F), a smaller SUV (T8X), a van or a light commercial vehicle. By 2032 there should be one million Toggs on the roads.

By Wolfgang Gomoll