Roland Gumpert is an engineer and developer of pioneering automobiles. He was the president of Audi Sport, where he developed the all-wheel drive of the Audi Quattro rally vehicle until he founded his own company in 2001 (called Gumpert) to produce a supercar named Gumpert Apollo. Since then, he’s moved on to develop the Roland Gumpert Nathalie, the first-ever road-legal, methanol fuel-cell super sports car. It’s one of the fastest sports cars available for the normal road and its electric!
CEO Roland Gumpert said:
It was my idea of an electric car that would not stop when the battery was empty. Today we present the world’s first series-production vehicle with a methanol fuel cell that is independent of charging stations or special hydrogen filling stations.
The 14-foot-long coupe can reach 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds and has a top speed of 190 MPH. It has a range of 510 miles when driving at 75mph or 745 miles in eco-mode. It takes three minutes to refuel the 17.2-gallon methanol tank. Its methanol-fueled powertrain is a combination of a fuel cell, four electric motors, and a buffer battery. Power capacity sits at 178 kWh, which produces a monstrous 536 hp and more than 730 pound-feet of torque.
The Nathalie looks mild at first glance, but it has several striking features when you look closer, such as the scissor doors that Lamborghini has made famous, panels made of lightweight biological materials like flax mixed with carbon composites, and a full FIA roll cage behind the cabin seats. The chassis is built using chrome-molybdenum steel, providing safety equal to that of a professional racing vehicle.
Lorenz Loew, the chief designer at Ideenion, who designs for the exclusive sports car brand, said:
The further development from the show car to the series production gives the designer the opportunity to question his own creation, to develop unique and important elements, and to harmonize the aesthetics of the entire design. When developing the series design of the Nathalie, technical constraints helped to refine the proportions of the vehicle and to sharpen the front and sidelines. The vehicle has grown in exactly the right places. A perfect interplay of design and technology.
The inside of a Nathalie is equipped with a G-force Rapid Display directly in the driver’s line of sight. It provides information such as battery levels, g-forces, a speedometer, performance, and fuel cell recuperation. There is also a separate display, called the Comfort Display, located in the middle console. It shows items such as climate control, media, navigation, and other fundamental vehicle functions.
Roland Gumpert will build only 500 of the Nathalie. The vehicle has a price tag of €407,000 ($455,000 U.S.) before taxes. The first deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first half of 2021.
But where do people get methanol? Gumpert explained:
An overnight delivery service has been installed for the exclusive customer base for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and is currently being expanded throughout Europe. The North America and Middle East regions are also currently being developed. What’s more, RG will pay for the methanol supply for the first year after delivery.
Race tracks and commercial depot have the fuel as well.