We’ll confess to thinking the bold claims made for Gumpert’s fuel-cell Nathalie were a bit pie in the sky when it was revealed at last year’s Geneva show. But the German brand has announced - exactly one year on - that the 536hp and a 745-mile-capable Nathalie is now on sale. Priced from $455,000, the methane-fuelled, four-motor EV promises to meld supercar performance with exceptional efficiency – although not without a bit of Gumpert lunacy, hence the scissor doors and fixed rear wing.
Power is provided by 15kW fuel-cell that converts the methanol in its 65-litre fuel tank into hydrogen, which then creates the electricity to drive the car’s independent motors. There’s a more conventional battery on board as well, but the Gumpert can permanently run on its liquid fuel and eke out that headline range in eco-mode. At an average of 75mph, the car is still said to be capable of 510 miles between fill ups – which take no more than three minutes from empty.
Those stats are particularly impressive when you consider the level of pace on offer here. The all-wheel drive Nathalie is said to take 2.5 seconds to hit 60mph, and thanks to its use of dual synchronised two-speed gearboxes, it has a top speed of 190mph. No weight figure is provided, but the Nathalie might not be as hefty as much as we’re all thinking given it uses lightweight body panels, made from biological materials such as flax. Big brakes and a fixed rear wing also hint at decent dynamic performance – this is Gumpert, after all; there's a reputation to uphold.
It’s certainly an impressive proposition, one enabled by the financial backing of Gumpert parent company, Aiways. The Chinese company was very much hands on during the Nathalie’s development, ensuring CEO Roland Gumpert’s “vision of an electric car” that “does not rely on charging stations or designated hydrogen stations” became a reality. On that note, the first of Gumpert’s 500-run of Nathalie’s will arrive on driveways in the first half of 2021. Only then will we know if it's as groundbreaking as it sounds…