Notices about official, virtual unveilings are coming fast and furious, now that many states are relaxing coronavirus stay-at-home orders and companies are bringing back workers. The latest is Lordstown Motors, the startup that plans to use a former General Motors plant in the Ohio city of the same name to make the Endurance electric pickup truck. It will make the official, online unveiling of the pre-production prototype on Thursday, June 25.
To tide us over through a week’s worth of anticipation, Lordstown released sketches that give us our first-ever look inside the battery-electric fleet work truck. Most notably, they show a large, longitudinal screen with the steering wheel positioned on the left side, suggesting that it will serve double duty as digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen.
Below it, on the center stack, there are three knobs and what is labeled as a push-button shifter, with switches clearly labeled with the PRNDL gears (plus a sixth switch we can’t quite make out). Another sketch shows a dial shifter on the center console, suggesting there may be two different ways to switch gears, while another rendering of the dashboard gives a different treatment to the center stack altogether, with one knob replacing the trio. IAdded together, the conflicting sketches could mean either that there will be different layouts with different trim levels, or, more likely, that Lordstown hasn’t quite settled on a final interior design.
Also shown in different treatments is the badge on the steering wheel, which in one sketch reads LMC, for Lordstown Motor Corp., and bears a more abstract shield-type logo on another. The center console appears to have a retractable cover, so you can slide it back when you want to use the two cupholders or dial shifter. A sketch of the front door panel tells us it will be equipped with a bottle holder.
Lordstown on Tuesday announced it had partnered with Orange County, California-based Hydra Design Labs to handle design and prototyping of the electric work truck. The company also collaborated with Lordstown on the general design of the interior and exterior, and it will build the full-scale prototype show car.
“Our goal with designing the Endurance was to create a rugged platform that could deliver on the demands of fleet-duty pickups,” said Jon Hull, Hydra’s founder and president. “We were able to leverage the layout of the electric drivetrain to explore unique new design solutions. A pickup truck design requires a certain level of familiarity and unity, yet the Endurance is clearly a bold step forward in terms of shape and form.”
Lordstown says it will livestream the reveal on its YouTube channel. Meanwhile, the company has been fast at work retooling the massive former GM Lordstown assembly plant to meet its ambitious goals of becoming the first production battery-electric pickup on the market. Production remains on track to start in late 2020, with first deliveries going out in the first quarter of 2021.