Latvian carmaker Dartz has done a complete 180, switching from gold armored SUVs to little 41-hp convertible buggies.
Dartz has a problem, however. There are only a limited number of crazy people on the planet, which means it has a limited customer pool. So now it's going downmarket with an EV buggy. It already owns an EV company called Freze & Co, established in 1902.
This new buggy is called the Freze Froggy. In case you can't identify it via its frog-like appearance, it's the yellow and green roadster in these images depicting two other Dartz creations that inspired its creation. And yes, that is an off-road Mercedes-Benz SLK, known as the SLC, in the background. If Merc built this, maybe the SLC would not have been axed.
To keep the price of the Froggy low, Freze teamed up with a Chinese conglomerate, SAIC-GM-Wuling. It produces a tiny EV that goes by many names, including the Chery QQ Ice Cream, BAW S3, and the Dongfeng Fengguang MINI EV.
Freze already builds an EV on the same platform, called the Nikrob. To create the Froggy, Freze removes the roof and cuts the windshield and side windows in half. It's smaller than a Smart ForTwo and only slightly less embarrassing.
Unlike the ForTwo, the Froggy has a very specific application. Freze is aiming the Froggy directly at hotels and car rental agencies in the Mediterranean. It's focusing on corporate order first, after which Freze will move over to individuals.
The Froggy will retail for roughly $20,000, making it the cheapest EV on sale in the USA.
The rear-mounted EV is suitable for 41 horsepower, all of which is delivered in an instant. Other models built on this platform, like the Chery QQ Ice Cream, can hit a top speed of 62 mph. The tiny battery is good for 150 miles, which is more than the Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop.
Dartz plans to start selling the Froggy under the Freze banner in 2023. According to the brand, there will be several Froggy special editions, including the Froggy Millennium EV, Froggy Millennium Adventure EV, and Froggy Millennium Adventure Signature Edition EV.
We're not entirely sure how Freze will get past US safety legislation, but we can't wait to set lap times around our favorite resorts in 2023.