TORONTO: It is amidst the lockdowns of 2021 that Canada’s own AK Motor International Corporation is presenting its new brand of Canadian automobiles; Maple Majestic.
Arising from AK Motor’s Project CANU (Canadian Automotive New Utilities), Maple Majestic is a symbol of hope for a very different sort of auto industry in the aftermath of the pandemic.
There is a great deal of significance in a name like Maple Majestic. The “Maple” leaf is a symbol of Canada’s warmth and friendliness towards all cultures, and the majesty of this beautiful land.
According to AK Motor founder Arkadiusz Kaminski, “Maple Majestic is intended to be Canada’s flagship brand of automobiles on the world stage. It will be a world-class automobile or it will not be”.
The Maple Majestic design represents a significant departure from other EVs. Many electric vehicles remain woefully ill-prepared for harsh climates. This in turn translates to lower sales in relatively cold regions of the world. As befits an EV from Canada, this key challenge is Maple Majestic’s calling.
While AK Motor has a multibrand / multi-model vision, the first Maple Majestic EV is intended to be a world leader in Climate-Friendly Driving.
The past decade has seen unprecedented development in key electric driveline components from batteries, to inverters, to electric motors. AK Motor recognizes these elements as becoming commodity components, and while they remain important, AK Motor chooses to focus on other areas of innovation. In particular, 2 key areas will be extreme weather driving dynamics and occupant hospitality. Climate Friendly Driving does not necessarily mean an SUV.
In fact, the opposite is true. The frontal projection of an SUV always means an increased drag on account of its height, which impacts fuel efficiency, and the accompanying top-heaviness impacts cornering stability.
AK Motor recognizes the market’s preference for SUVs and the Maple Majestic concept will offer the best of both worlds. A key feature of the vehicle will be an adjustable ride height suspension with a target of up to 150mm ride height travel. This means a variable ground clearance from a sporty 140mm up to 290mm in some conditions that may involve heavy snow.
The overall height will vary from 1440mm up to 1590mm which enters the territory of some mid-size SUVs. Both front and rear axles have an identical track width which makes it easier to drive through snow. Perhaps the most striking visual feature will be the extended wheelbase at 3100mm.
Chamfered corners allow for excellent urban driving and parking maneuverability. There is a strong packaging logic to the extended wheelbase which not only aids in straight-line stability in adverse weather conditions, while improving rear passenger comfort but also allows for potentially larger batteries in the floor.
It is envisioned that the vehicle may accommodate different battery sizes depending on the
owner’s geographical location and expected driving habits. AK Motor has also considered provisions for a hybrid version of the Maple Majestic EV.
The space ahead of the rear axle can potentially house a small Internal Combustion Engine intended as occasional back-up power generation.
The hybrid solution remains valid in areas of the world where the potential of overloading the power grid is real. A great deal of consideration went into the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle not just from the front, but also from the sides. The curved profile of the glasswork, as well as the uncluttered roof is intended to allow the vehicle to handle crosswinds exceptionally well.
According to founder Arkadiusz Kaminski, “We didn’t invent the electric car, but we are here to make it civilized. Maple Majestic shouldn’t be thought of as a sedan but rather more of a supercar with four doors. The fact that the concept has super car proportions doesn’t hurt either, but it all stems from a thorough rethinking of EV packaging.”
AK Motor considers its automotive systems as module packages which are outsourced to external suppliers. The Windsor-Oshawa industrial corridor is comprised of several hundred companies that form a fully integrated parts supply chain. AK Motor, with the aim of becoming Canada’s first modern automotive OEM, is ideally positioned in the Golden Horseshoe – because of the abundant local parts supply and the strong auto sector.
The only way to add more stability to Ontario’s auto industry is to start a local OEM for the
global market and AK Motor’s Maple Majestic brand aims to do just that.