You can grab Roland Gumperts Elan formally. The 73-Year-old has experienced in his remarkable career, Yes quite a bit, but this here seems to have it really Packed. The Ex-head of Audi Motorsport, supercar and Nürburgring-record-holder (with his Street racing car Apollo) has been charged to date in a small Ingolstadt-based Studio, where he will present a few journalists his latest creation.
To be honest, we had no idea what would await us. Of a new electric sports car. With Chinese support. How to do that today. Gumpert Airways hot the new company. More Info? . It makes it exciting. We are three weeks away from the unveiling ceremony at the Beijing motor show, and Gumpert seems to want to pitch with a big Bang. To get straight to the point: It is likely to succeed.
You will have seen "Nathalie" in the pictures probably. Nathalie (Yes, the car really is called that) is wrapped in a pretty complicated Purple, 4.31 metres long and looks like a Muscle Car from the year 2030. Those who look closely, recognizes and is also a whole lot of the Audi Quattro Concept. This rat-sharp study of 2015, which would have done the Ingolstädtern so damn good.
Roland Gumpert worked for 35 years at Audi. Very, he will take the four rings. In 1998, he went to work as a Board member for sales and Marketing to China, established with a local Partner the Audi dealer network. The Partner, a certain Mr. Fu, was a friend of, saw Gumperts oldest daughter (three guesses what her name is) grow up. Now you founded a sports car together, the new company for the construction of electric. In the Startup Airways from Shanghai. Where Startup is, perhaps, something of an understatement, when you can have a starting capital of 1.5 billion Euro. Gumpert is acting for Airways as chief product officer. From 2019, and more traditional electric cars are to run from the Band. Small Cars, SUVs, Buses, Sedans. It has a platform for eight different vehicle variants. The future production facility is designed for up to 300,000 cars a year.
The flagship of the Airways, however, comes from Germany, is to be produced from 2019 here. And behind the somewhat habituation needy, the name of RG (for "Roland Gumpert"), Nathalie a is, at least for the automotive industry a truly revolutionary idea. Why revolutionary? Because of this stubby electric drives wedge with a Methanol fuel cell. In principle, you pour so pure alcohol in the Tank. This is heated to 300 400 degrees. CO2 is emitted. Left over hydrogen, which is passed through the fuel cell and generates electricity. No one has done this so far, the advantages are obvious: time-consuming load processes are completely eliminated. You would do in a "normal" hydrogen power, of course, but here there is no need for complicated and time-consuming to form the end of a refueling infrastructure. Any gas station could, in principle, from today to tomorrow, a Methanol pump. The tank process is not different from the conventional. On top of that, Methanol costs only about a third of gasoline.
"A classic electric car to understand in the sense as I have a car that doesn't work," says Roland Gumpert. "I'm driving 200, 300 miles and then I stop, because the battery is empty. This is contrary to my thoughts of freedom. Here I have my Generator on Board, we demonstrated to achieve ranges of at least 600 kilometers. If I drive sparingly, up to 1,200 kilometers." Why none of the big manufacturers came up with this ingeniously simple-sounding idea? "Because you have not thought enough," says Gumpert.
And so back to Nathalie. The car is a tubular space frame and has Carbon-fibre bodywork. The fuel cell sits in the front seat, the batteries are distributed T-shaped in the vehicle floor. The interior is sporty and modern. Slim-fit cut with a bunch of Displays and novel-looking materials. The two-seater has a more everyday use boot, weighs in at almost 1,600 pounds and has a weight distribution of 45:55 percent. For drive four wheel hub electric motors. Say: On each wheel, an electric Motor sits. With the 75 to 80 kilowatts of power. The performance of the system will be in the 420 to 430 HP. Compared with other electric supercars like the 1.918-HP Rimac Concept 2 or the Nio EP9 with 1,360 HP, that sounds almost a little frail. However, Nathalie is supposed to cost only a fraction of these vehicles (don't get your hopes up, between 300,000 and 500,000 euros, you will still have to shell out). And what concerns the Performance, Gumpert more than confident: "This is this clearly a super sport. We travel with over 1,000 Newton meters. The acceleration, the low center of gravity, which is simply the Hammer", he has to laugh.
From 0-100 km/h of the RG is to accelerate Nathalie by the way, in under 2.5 seconds. The maximum speed is Gumpert with 300 km/h. And the steadfast, he added. Four-driven wheels for four-wheel drive pioneer Gumpert, of course, a Must. Classical Differential Nathalie need not, however. Here everything is about Torque Vectoring. The car also has no transmission in the true sense. The E-motors turn a maximum of 15,000 trips, a fixed Translation regulates the Rest. The suspension consists of a front axle with MacPherson struts and a double wishbone rear axle. "By the sporting values of this car is the ultimate. We will also go back to the Nordschleife. I think we can compete well." And Gumpert, it needs to know, he thought but with his Apollo for many years, the Northern record for series vehicles grinding. The 7:11 minutes, he made in 2009, you should crack with Nathalie then, if you want to ensure the conversation.
Today, we are still not quite as fast on the road. Do you remember the ill-fated Gumpert Explosion from the Geneva auto salon 2014? The sloping TT look-alike with a 420-HP Turbo four-cylinder never made it into the series. But Gumpert had him stand on the court, and therefore he converted him to a Methanol fuel cell experimental vehicle. The technology of the RG and Nathalie has, in principle, one-to-one on Board. Except that the fuel cell sits in the back, and he only goes for walks with a E-Motor on each axis. Inside the Cockpit of the old Audi TT is located. Garnished with all sorts of Measuring utensils and a gear selector lever, the Forward, Neutral and Reverse. More, it does not need finally.
I take a seat and sirre silent. According to the it is still. Fan to blow, it cracks here and there. "It's done up to the Premiere, everything," says Gumpert. In itself, we're rolling today, just a little bit. On the Studio lot and a couple of side streets. More than 70-80 km/h are not in there. But even with half the power you can already tell what will be possible. The approach lots of thrust, the spontaneous, the urgent force. The part may have a Tank, but it drives like the future.
The small Display next to the gear lever spits out, meanwhile, constantly Pay. The fuel cell charges the battery continuously, with about four kW. I'll sheet metal the Gas to the floor, there will be more. We recuperate during the journey, pretty much, no harm. In spite of the Methanol stock in the rear. Although we are only rumgeschippert a few minutes in a rather rudimentary prototype and although Gumpert has developed its Nathalie in not even ten months, the project, and especially the idea behind it is pretty promising. But, of course, doubts remain.
Who pays the thickness of six digits for a car/concept that he does not know? What are the Oil companies supposed to bring Methanol to your tank, if there is only a handful of cars driving around, refuel it? What is the response of the large car manufacturers? Actually, you would have to get for a resounding success of the idea in the boat, but Gumpert believes in the opposite: "Probably, they will fight us." That would be a great pity. One wishes this enthusiastic, reason enabled man to sympathetic, and so easy, that this stunning electric sports car, and the Methanol-fuel-cell-idea will be a success. With China in the back the chances are probably at least no worse. The hour Gumperts daughter Nathalie draws in Beijing, the sheets of its mobile namesake. In August or September, we should be able to, for the first time. We hope it feels as good as it sounds.(sw)