Gumpert Methanol-Powered EV Supercar Set For Debut
On March 18, the world will officially be introduced to the latest car from Roland Gumpert, the former Audi engineer turned supercar builder. But instead of a V8-powered track screamer like his Apollo, it will be an all-electric coupe, producing its electricity with, of all things, methanol.
The Gumpert-Aiways Nathalie First Edition – named after the German’s daughter – is his attempt at a ‘green’ sports car, and originally debuted as a prototype in 2018. Looking more like a Nissan GT-R than a Le Mans racer, the AWD car is powered by four electric motors producing a total of 536 horsepower, with a top speed of 305kph (190mph) and a 0-100kph time of 2.5 seconds.
The total range is 510miles at 75mph (820km at 120kph), though keep in mind it’s not a plug-in EV. As mentioned, it uses a 15kW fuel cell to convert synthesized methanol into electricity. A small battery onboard is just for added power under heavy acceleration.
The reason it uses a fuel cell, says Gumpert, is that he wanted to avoid the long charging times of conventional EVs; it fuels up like a conventional vehicle. But it brings up a more pertinent question: where the heck do you find methanol? A few hours’ wait for a charge is better than a few years’ hope for added methanol infrastructure that might never come. The old ‘bird in hand’, so to speak.
The First Edition will be limited to just 500 cars, at around $500,000 apiece. Maybe add a bit to your budget for building your own filling station, too.
*Images courtesy of Gumpert