Roland Gumpert, founder of Gumpert Aiways Automobile, is no stranger to racing enthusiasts. In his former life, he was responsible, among other things, for Audi’s various motorsport activities. In cooperation with the Chinese startup Aiways, Gumpert developed the Nathalie super sports car. Nathalie is a really fast car, its top speed is beyond the 300 kmph mark and it reaches 100 kmph in less than 2.5 seconds. Four electric motors with an output of 102 kW (peak) ensure these ambitious values. Being an electric car, it even has a battery with an output of 60 kWh. However, the range is quite untypical for electric racing cars: it can cover up to 805 km (about Munich – Naples) without having to plug into a charging station.
Nathalie never has to go to a charging station because she generates her own electricity. She does this with the help of a methanol fuel cell that continuously delivers an output of 5 kW and thus permanently charges the batteries while driving. The methanol-water mixture for the fuel cell is carried in a standard fuel tank (55 litres), which can be refilled just as quickly as any petrol tank, at least as far as a corresponding filling station happens to be on the way. Even if the battery is completely empty, the car can still travel about 50 km with the power of the fuel cell. The company says that work is in progress to set up an appropriate filling station network.
According to Gumpert Aiways, methanol is less harmful to the environment and less flammable than petrol.
The lighting of the super sports car is also interesting. It comes from Osram Continental. The Gumpert Aiways designers have chosen a bifunction projector with active cooling and electromechanical shutter for switching between low and high beam as the driving light.
The price for the vehicle is said to be around 500,000 euros. Gumpert said that it is the platinum for the fuel cell that is supposed to drive the price up. Nevertheless, the company plans to launch a small series production in 2020.