GUMPERT NATHALIE FIRST EDITION UNVEILED

The Gumpert Nathalie converts methanol into electricity so you don’t have to wait hours for a full charge. Is this the future?

Wait, what? In short, a 15kw battery is powered by a methanol fuel cell that converts methanol into hydrogen for electricity. Thus, making the Gumpert Nathalie independent of electricity charging as well as hydrogen refuelling; instead, you fill up with methanol, which is then converted within the powertrain. Koenigsegg isn’t the only one exploring snazzy tech…

Gumpert NathalieGumpert Nathalie

“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,” says CEO Roland Gumpert.

The energy capacity of the overall system consisting of methanol power cell with 65L tank and buffer battery is 190 kWh, Tesla, for example, offers a battery up to 100kWh… The acceleration from 0-62mph is 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 186mph thanks to two synchronised 2-speed gearboxes. Total power output is estimated at 536bhp, with two electric motors on either axle, and a four-wheel drive system.

Gumpert NathalieGumpert Nathalie

Typical of Gumpert, this vehicle is of course ready for the racetrack. A FIA-compliant space frame with roll cage and the 4-wheel drive system ensure the necessary performance.

The car you see here is the “First Edition”, which is limited within the limited number of regular Gumpert Nathalie cars, although that number isn’t specified. The total number of Nathalies is limited to 500 cars, with the first customer cars set for delivery in early 2021 at a price of €407,000, or roughly £363k.

Is this the future of electric cars? Where you fill up at a conventional fuel station and you’re doing within three minutes? You can watch the world premiere here.

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SLAMMED AUDI RS6 C7 AVANT

WIDE-BODY AUDI RS6 C7 AVANT

Check out this insane wide-body Audi RS6 C7 Avant built by Race! in South Africa. Mods include a full carbon fiber widebody, exposed gloss carbon canards and aero, carbon fibre bonnet, custom ADV.1 Wheels, H&R suspension, a full Armytrix exhaust system and an AWE Tuning airbox intake.

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How to drive 628 mph

The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project is aiming for 1,000 mph, and so far the car has hit 628 mph in a test conducted in November 2019 on the Hakskeenpan in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. That speed may be far off from Bloodhound’s goal, but reaching it was far from easy, as this video from Top Gear explains.

The first stage of the run involved getting the car’s jet engine up to speed, Andy Green, Bloodhound’s driver and current land speed record holder, said. At full thrust, the car accelerates at 1.0 g, gaining 20 mph per second. Just a half mile down the 10-mile course, Green was already doing 180 mph. At three miles, he reached 500 mph.

Green used a combination of visual landmarks and radio calls to determine where he was on the course. Aerodynamic drag increased along with speed, slowing the rate of acceleration as Green reached 600 mph. Green also had to deal with crosswinds; you can see him sawing at the wheel in the in-cockpit video.

Once the 628-mph top speed was reached, Green began decelerating at about the same 1.0 g as he had accelerated down the course. Green had to steer with one hand to correct for a crosswind while pulling a parachute release at 590 mph. With the parachute deployed, Bloodhound decelerated by 100 mph every second. After speed dips below 250 mph, it’s safe to use the brakes.

Bloodhound SSC

Bloodhound SSC

Green, a former fighter pilot who set the current record of 763 mph for a steerable car in 1997, is clearly used to high speeds.

“Anything below 250 mph is so slow. You could pretty much get out and walk at this stage,” Green said.

The jet engine Bloodhound used for its first test is a Rolls-Royce EJ200 normally used in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane. To reach 1,000 mph, the 44.3-foot streamliner will use a cluster of hybrid rockets from Norwegian defense firm Nammo. Combined output of the jet engine and rockets will be 135,000 horsepower.

It’s unclear when the Bloodhound team will make its record attempt. The project ran out of funding in March, and fundraising efforts are now on hold due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Bloodhound has called off a record attempt originally planned for 2021, and will wait for the pandemic to subside before making new plans.

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