The San Jose, California-based startup Drako Motors unveiled its upcoming 2,000 HP all-electric Dragon super SUV.
The Dragon is Drako’s second vehicle after the GTE electric sedan. Drako says the super SUV will be “priced competitively in the existing super-SUV segment” starting with a base price of $290,000, with extensive individualization services available to ensure a bespoke experience.
Although Dragon is designed in Italy, it will be built in America with plans to ramp production to 5,000 units per year. Production and first customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2026.
Reservations are fully refundable, and available now on drakomotors.com. Standard reservations cost $500, while those who want to be among the first 99 customers to receive their Dragon can reserve a First Edition model for $5,000.
First impressions are everything, and the first sight of Dragon stuns with its imposing presence and powerful stance, its flowing, organic lines, and its two-door gullwing layout. Designed in Italy by Lowie Vermeersch and his GranStudio team, Dragon wraps the latest technology in the language of pure form, but always with an eye to function.
The front wing’s carefully sculpted lines, for example, are not just beautiful–they also allow air to pass through the nose to reduce drag, increase range and create meaningful downforce at speed. The rear flying buttresses also serve this dual ethos of striking visual style and functional aerodynamics, guiding airflow rearward toward the “coda tronca” rear end and its diffuser.
The gullwing doors, likewise, are not there just for visual impact, although they have plenty. The large, power-operated gullwings eliminate the B-pillar to make it easier to get in and out of Dragon’s front and rear seats, enhance outward sight lines for rear-seat passengers, and are designed to open upward more than outward for easy access even when parked near vehicles, walls, or other obstacles.
Even the lighting brings more to Dragon’s feature set than initially meets the eye. The headlights and tail lights are highly detailed, with futuristic digital visual cues and unique LEDs for maximum visibility. Designed for off-road adventures as well as on-road performance, Dragon also features ultra-bright rally lights integrated into its roof to improve driver awareness in extreme environments.
The body panels, too, are not just lightweight and ultra-strong composites. Drako is pioneering the use of sustainable natural fibers in its body panels to reduce weight and improve rigidity while reducing plastic use by up to 70 percent. Natural fiber composites also offer full end-of-life recyclability, helping further to reduce Dragon’s environmental footprint.
Dragon’s cabin space has been reimagined from the ground up to be as revolutionary as its exterior design. Dragon’s Quad Motor electric architecture enables new ways of thinking about and realizing interior space and packaging that, in turn, helps achieve an even better balance between the competing goals of beauty, versatility, functionality, and performance.
As driver-focused as Dragon is, the cabin gives equal treatment to rear-seat passengers. The B-pillarless design and panoramic glass roof offer passengers incredible spaciousness and beautiful unobstructed views outward. A rear-seat entertainment package with dual screens mounted to the rear of the leather and carbon fiber front seats will also be available. Rear seat occupants also get programmable backlighting that shines through perforated leather panels for enhanced ambience and intimacy.
The front seats, on the other hand, bring out Dragon’s performance side, combining luxurious comfort with a sense of focus on the road and the task at hand suitable to Dragon’s extreme performance capabilities. The steering wheel offers sensational tactile feel, not just from its feedback about the front tires’ grip, but also from its array of buttons and controls. All of Dragon’s physical driver controls are mounted directly to the steering wheel, including those for the turn signals, windshield wipers, headlights, and horn, as well as two 5-way thumb controllers and a pair of driver-programmable rotary controls.
Front and center between the two first-row occupants sits a 17.1-inch touchscreen display, which allows for monitoring and configuration of the vehicles’ systems as well as immersive infotainment experiences. The digital instrument cluster display is customizable, as are the programmable steering wheel controls. Even the sideview mirrors are camera-and-screen-based, the tiny door-mounted cameras displaying their output on screens embedded into the dashboard.
Dragon’s all-carbon fiber structure and unique layout also helps improve sight lines for the driver, enabling the A-pillar to be pushed much farther forward than in other vehicles. The unique structure enabled by the Quad Motor electric architecture also means there’s ample cargo space behind the rear seats, with a large and versatile trunk/hatch space able to accommodate luggage for all passengers.
Unlike the distributed networks found in most luxury cars, with hundreds of control units hidden away around the vehicle, the Drako DriveOS system uses a single multicore ECU to provide all functions. In addition to controlling the Dragon’s infotainment system, navigation, and instrumentation display, the Drako DriveOS platform also underpins all of the vehicle’s other functions, like managing traction and yaw, Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), battery management and charging, and even the HVAC system. DriveOS’ monolithic structure and blazing fast multicore processors translates to ultra-low latency, in turn enabling unprecedented control and responsiveness.
Where most high-performance automotive control systems tout millisecond response times, Drako DriveOS measures its responses in nanoseconds. This instantaneous speed is possible thanks to the monolithic architecture, but also groundbreaking use of realtime USB networking in place of the traditional CAN structure. DriveOS’ ultra-low-latency processing and multi-sensor bandwidth enables next-generation automated driving capabilities, and the USB architecture makes the DriveOS platform and its hardware infinitely upgradeable and expandable. Other DriveOS architectural advantages include weight savings (through both reduced computer count and significant savings in wiring harness length), simplified installation, ease of replacement, and cost reduction.
The DriveOS architecture is also highly reliable and secure, with special cybersecurity precautions incorporated into the intentionally minimized software footprint. This reliability and security means users can be confident their data is safe, even with Dragon’s full cloud connectivity and over-the-air updates.
Quad Motor Architecture & In-House Battery Pack
Drako’s Quad Motor architecture, pioneered on Drako GTE, underpins the Dragon’s phenomenal performance statistics. With a motor controlling each wheel, and the nanosecond precision of DriveOS assisting in translating the driver’s inputs into the desired outputs, Dragon is capable of truly incredible feats–things no ordinary car can do at all, such as high-rpm tank turns that allow the Dragon to effectively spin in place. Quad Motor drive also means all-wheel drive, with extremely fine individual control of each wheel, perfect for managing traction in inclement weather or off-road environments.
Providing each of the four Quad Motors with electricity is a battery pack designed and built by Drako to handle the demands of Dragon’s extreme performance. A massively parallel cooling system winds its way around each cell, ensuring maximum performance at the limit, no matter if you’re driving in sub-zero Arctic conditions, the hottest deserts on earth, or your local race track. With 500-kW fast-charging capability, Dragon battery pack charges to 80 percent in 10 minutes, regaining 336 miles of its 420-mile total range nearly as quickly as a stop for gas would in a conventional vehicle.
Drako Dragon is the world’s first production SUV with a full carbon fiber structure. This triumph of engineering not only enables the exotic design and gorgeous proportions of Dragon, but also saves 50 percent of the weight of the chassis compared to a traditional SUV while delivering twice the structural rigidity. This huge weight savings helps offset the necessary weight of the battery pack, enabling Dragon to meet or beat weight parity with gasoline-powered super-SUVs.
Safety is a top priority, too, and Dragon’s ultralight, ultrastrong carbon fiber chassis structure is designed to exceed all crash test safety standards worldwide, despite the completely open design without a B-pillar.
PERFORMANCE & DRIVING DYNAMICS
Even though Dragon is redefining the very thesis of the performance vehicle through its integration of cutting-edge technologies, those technologies didn’t happen in a vacuum, or overnight. For the past decade, Drako has been developing the DriveOS system and its NanoControl Quad Motor vehicle dynamics controls on the world’s most challenging racing circuits, as well as in extreme weather and off-road environments. This extreme precision control–literally orders of magnitude more precise than traditional vehicle control systems–contributes to Dragon’s mind blowing performance.
Just how mind blowing is the performance? There really is nothing that properly compares. Dragon’s four electric motors combine to provide 2,000 horsepower enabling face-stretching 0-60 mph runs of 1.9 seconds, quarter-mile times of 9.0 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 200 mph. With great power comes great responsibility, so Dragon is equipped with carbon ceramic rotors at all four corners. The front brakes use 10-piston calipers on 420-mm discs, while the rear brakes use 6-piston calipers on 410-mm discs.
Because Dragon’s performance isn’t limited to the race track or exceptionally well-maintained asphalt, it features a multi-stage suspension with exceptional bandwidth. Tuned with settings specifically designed to maximize performance on the track, on the street, and off-road, Dragon is quite literally ready for anything. And no matter whether you’re clipping apexes, carving canyons, or rallying through the sand, you’ll appreciate Dragon’s ultra-low center of gravity and perfect 50/50 weight distribution.