This is Nathalie, a pretty bold and ambitious electric vehicle from German automaker Gumpert that we are obliged to call it a supercar because, 800+ HP. Both the brand and the car are somewhat complicated. Roland Gumpert was a familiar name in Audi Sports and he is also the man behind small German supercar maker, Apollo Automobile. This startup in his name is not quite an independent company; it is linked to Chinese electric mobility company, AIWAYS.
In fact, it is under the umbrella of AIWAYS, but operates as Gumpert AIWAYS in Ingolstadt, Germany. Separately, AIWAYS China is currently developing and producing its own vehicles in China. Nathalie you see here is straight up a Gumpert vehicle that made its world debut at Beijing Motor Show in 2018. It is not a straightforward electric vehicle, though. It has what the company called “2Way electro” which is basically combines electric drivetrain with methanol fuel cell developed by Ser energy.
The methanol fuel cell here serves as a range extender, providing a claimed permanent 5 kW power to the onboard battery, so in theory, it pretty much has an unlimited range. Well, almost. That’s until the methanol needs to be topped and in case it does, it will take just 3 minutes. Yes, it has to be topped like hydrogen fuel cell. And no, it does not burn methanol. That would be nuts. Instead, chemical reaction from the introduction of methanol is used to produce electricity.
Having said that, it is not to say it does not have a range; it does. Roland Gumpert claims an impressive 530 miles (853 kilometers) range – if you restraint yourself to 50 miles an hour (80 km/h), or an even mind-bending 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) when in eco mode. I guess most people won’t be holding back on the pedal given what this car is capable off. Speaking of which, this being an electric car, instant torque is guaranteed and therefore, it is no surprise it makes 0-60 in under 2.5 seconds and it has a top speed of 190 mph (306 km/h). So, tell me now, will anyone go light on their foot? It will be challenge to keep the speed demon in you from breaking free.
Gumpert Nathalie is powered by four Bosch SMG 180 electric motors, each driving a wheel and thus, it is a 4-wheel drive EV (or 4E4W, as Gumpert calls it) and it, of course, has regenerative system in place. While the prospect looks bright for electric drive in that it does not have drivers worrying about “where’s the next EV station?” However, it may have a new question: “Ermmm, where’s the nearest methanol station?” But when you do find one, you won’t have to wait for hours to get it juiced and ready for the roads. In any case, implementing infrastructure for methanol fuel shouldn’t be hard for urban settings where this car will be used most often.
As for the car itself, it features a chromoly tube frame, a carbon chassis, vortex generator, rear diffuser, and the all-important rear spoiler to keep sticking to the road or track. Overall, it is a beauty as expect from a car to leave Gumpert’s hands, but for some reasons, the look strikes me as a R35 souped by Top Secret (with an Audi Quattro-inspired rear end). Maybe it is just me.
Anywho, as mentioned, Roland Gumpert Nathalie Electric Supercar isn’t the new; it has met the world last year. However, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Gumpert revealed a racing version of the Nathalie, simply called Nathalie Race, which will compete in the FIA-approved EPCS race series (Electric Production Car Series, formerly known as Electric GT) in late 2019 or early 2020.
So what is the difference between the regular Nathalie and Nathalie Race? Well, it has a same drivetrain, but areas like aero, suspension, brakes and cooling have been tweaked to take the punishments of racing. Moreover, the usual luxurious standard equipment has been pulled and replaced with weight-saving racing equipment. All told, the Nathalie Race makes a claimed century sprint in around 2 seconds. But the top speed remain unchanged.
As for the road-legal Nathalie, registration for purchase of it is now open. Though, we are clueless about the price and the exact availability. It should be pretty soon since the company is taking on the EPCS which we assume having a production car is requisite. We could be wrong.
Fun fact: Nathalie is named after Roland Gumpert’s daughter, Nathalie.
All images courtesy of Roland Gumpert/Gumpert AIWAYS.
Source: New Atlas.