In 1982, Arkadiusz Kaminski and his family moved from his home country of Poland to Canada with just $40.
As Kaminski explains, these were very hard times, but he was always able to cheer himself up by thinking back to a stylish Polish car brand he had a particular liking for, Syrena. Now an accomplished industrial designer, Kaminski has taken it upon himself to revive the Syrena brand, which had been inactive since 1983.
Syrena is being launched under the AK Motors brand, which was founded by Kaminski and thus bears his initials. The first new Syrena model was the Meluzyna R – a tiny little 400 hp rally racer that was limited to just 25 units. But the Meluzyna R, launched in 2015, was just the beginning.
Kaminski, now 42, has plans to bring two cars to market under the Syrena badge: a road-going Meluzyna and a small city car called the NIXI. The NIXI would be available as an EV, making it particularly well-suited to use in city centers and other places where real estate is limited and charging stations are abundant.
AK Motors will first bring the Syrena brand to Poland before expanding to Canada. The sky is the limit from there, and while Kaminski knows the deck is stacked against him, we think he’s on to something pretty interesting. With a background in engineering and designing toys, Kaminski wants Syrena to be a fun brand, and asks “why should cars be so serious?” We very much agree, Mr. Kaminski, and in our opinion, Syrena’s first products look to be very fun indeed.
“I find that in some ways, I am still designing toys, just big ones,” he said.
Syrena’s next step is building an EV that will appeal to customers in both Europe and North America, but the company has yet to say whether this will be a NIXI EV, or an electric version of the Meluzyna. The company also has plans for a third, larger model called the Ligea, which looks like a Polish take on the Alpine A110. Syrena has a steep hill to climb, but with a fun-loving attitude and attractive, retro-inspired styling, they certainly are off to a strong start.
Our only question is, can we get a go in that Meluzyna R, Mr. Kaminski?