Electric cars are like the gold rush in the western United States. Everyone smells big money – and electric car start-ups are still springing up like mushrooms. Tesla provides the recipe: concentrate on the important elements of the car, buy the rest, build a factory out of the ground and ensure an adequate charging structure. Basically any self-proclaimed car manufacturer with the necessary capital can do this. Suppliers are a dime a dozen and the art of building a highly efficient, powerful combustion engine is no longer needed. This means that a technological advantage of established car manufacturers is no longer possible.

This is exactly the strategy Togg is pursuing. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has given his place, and in Gürcan Karakas they have found a CEO who knows the car business inside out. “We want to be more than a car manufacturer,” says the man with the 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 steel bath now helps the man with the kind eyes because he has drawn his conclusions from this time.

You notice this immediately as soon as you get behind the steering wheel in the Togg TX10. Because you’re looking at an XXXL screen, consisting 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 car manufacturer is implementing the 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 rely on Apple or Google, but has developed its own operating system, which, like a smartphone, includes an app store. The apps are dragged and dropped onto the home screen and the phone is wirelessly charged with power in a charging cradle. The operation works without any major problems, although the menus are a bit complicated. We are happy about a rotary push button like 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 screens above. This means the passenger can put together their own entertainment program.

Togg describes the passenger cell as a second living room and the infotainment is designed accordingly. To achieve this, the Turkish car manufacturer has brought big players from almost all sectors of the country’s economy on board, including Turkish Airlines. Here you can listen to the radio, conduct business, buy flight 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”). Like with an airline, you collect miles or other points for transactions and activities, which you can convert into Toggen, for example to charge up electricity at the charging station.

But entertainment is also provided: thanks to artificial intelligence, the AI ​​radio creates playlists that match the user’s taste based on the selected music genre. The screens are also used to create digital works of art. With such a huge production, Togg already caused a stir at the CES technology trade fair. Now the bits-and-bytes graphics adorn the exterior walls of the factory in Gemlik. Some functions are activated via facial recognition in the car. The camera is also used to take selfies. “We take digitalization seriously,” says the Togg boss. None of this sounds like Tesla, but more like Apple.

Despite all the software capabilities, a vehicle like the Togg TX10 still has to get its passengers from A to B. And as comfortable as possible. Just like you use a smartphone to primarily make phone calls and not just take photos or watch TikTok videos. The Turkish SUV does a decent job of fulfilling its core competence. Even if the steering column is too short and the seats could offer more lateral support. We are sitting in the top model T10X AWD Long Range 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 for a maximum of 468 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle. The engines come from Bosch, of course.

Even without rear-axle steering, the 4.60 meter long Togg 10X should have a turning circle of 9.50 meters. The 2,165 kilogram vehicle can be moved with corresponding agility. Thanks to the electric power, the TX10 can also move forward heartily if desired. The electric car completes the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and at 185 km/h it’s over. Togg states the average consumption as 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 bit fiddly at first, but after a while you get used to it. The one on the right is for the strength of the recuperation in three stages plus sailing. If you choose the strongest setting, you can move the electric SUV with the popular one-pedal driving. The chassis is comfortably tuned. We also drove the basic variant with rear-wheel drive and 160 kW / 218 hp and 350 Nm of torque, which takes 7.8 seconds for the standard sprint and found this engine to be sufficient. With the large battery there are 523 km. If you choose the version, there are still 314 km.

When it comes to recharging electricity, Togg can easily keep up with competitors like the Skoda Enyaq or the VW ID.4. In some cases it is even better: not all competitors can achieve 22 kW on an AC column. At an 11 kW charging point, the batteries are filled from 20 to 80 percent in 345 minutes. If you control a DC fast charging station, the Stromer 10X can achieve a maximum of 180 kW. Then it only takes 28 minutes. To make this possible in Turkey, 1,000 fast charging stations should be placed along the main traffic arteries. What Tesla can do, we have been able to do for a long time, people will say on the Bosporus.

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

A maximum of 2,000 to 3,000 cars are planned for sale in Germany. In 2025 there should be significantly more. With 1.5 million citizens with Turkish passports, the rolling national pride will certainly also be in demand between Flensburg and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The prices for Germany have not yet been determined. In Turkey it starts at around 40,000 euros, the top version should cost more than 65,000 euros.

As in Turkey, sales will be carried out 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 beams and is already making plans for the future. Additional models are expected to generate sales over the next five years. A sedan (10F), a smaller SUV (T8X), a van or a light commercial vehicle. There should be a million Togg on the roads by 2032.