The hand-built Carice MK1 blends nostalgic style with modern electric tech

You don’t need to spend a fortune to ride in style.

Dutch automaker Carice Cars has just introduced its first vehicle: the handmade, all electric MK1. It’s about the size of an MX-5, weighs just 771 pounds, and costs just over $36,000.

For the money, you get a retro interior, a fully electric powertrain, and that’s about it. But the MK1 is not necessarily about gadgets or technology: it’s about craftsmanship.

Each MK1 is hand built in a small warehouse in Holland, and in this writer’s opinion, looks absolutely gorgeous.

The Dutch roadster is a bit of a tribute to the luxury sports cars of old, such as the Porsche 356 from which it is based. Like the 356, the MK1 has large, bug-eyed headlights and curvaceous, smooth body. Inside, both have analog gauges, stylish bucket seats, and a clean, analog dashboard. Once you look a little deeper, though, the differences start to become more apparent. 

For one, the MK1 uses a backbone chassis, which is basically a single, thick bar running the entire length of the vehicle to provide rigidity and save weight.

Carice Cars MK1

More importantly, however, is the powertrain. The MK1 is completely electric, gathering energy from a lithium-ion battery pack integrated directly into the chassis. This allows for perfect 50:50 weight distribution, although performance isn’t really the MK1’s specialty.

Buyers have a choice of three trim levels: one with 20 horsepower, one with 54, and a “junior version” with just five horses. That may not sound like a lot, but because of the MK1’s plastic body (yes, you read that right), it only has 771 pounds to lug around.

For customers who want a little more driving time, Carice offers a small, gas-powered “range extender” for an extra boost. Carice is even planning a hydrogen-powered MK1 in the coming months.

With its three-spoke wooden steering wheel, red bucket seats, and spherical body, the MK1 is a nostalgic homage to old school craftsmanship but with modern ingredients. The only thing that’s missing is the soundtrack of a burbly inline, but if you’re one of the 10 lucky customers planned so far, you’ll have to do with the roar of the tires and the wind in your hair.

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