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Production start for methanol powered Roland Gumpert Nathalie "First Edition"

In Germany, legendary car engineer, and developer Roland Gumpert has held an "online" world premiere of the series model of the Roland Gumpert Nathalie "First Edition" 2020, marking the start of production for the first series model sports car powered with a methanol fuel cell.

In Germany, legendary car engineer, and developer Roland Gumpert has held an “online” world premiere of the series model of the Roland Gumpert Nathalie “First Edition” 2020, marking the start of production for the first series model sports car powered with a 15 kW methanol fuel cell (photo courtesy Gumpert Aiways Automobile).

As an engineer, developer, and CEO, Roland Gumpert has been developing pioneering automobiles for many decades. From the rally success and the development of the all-wheel drive of the Audi Quattro rally vehicle to the GUMPERT apollo super sports car to today’s Roland Gumpert Nathalie.

According to the company, the launch of the first series model of the Roland Gumpert Nathalie with a hydrogen / electricity-producing methanol fuel cell represents a turning point in electric mobility. The vehicles are manufactured in Ingolstadt, Germany, at Gumpert Aiways Automobile GmbH.

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, said Roland Gumpert.

The street-legal methanol fuel cell (MFC) powered Roland Gumpert Nathalie, the brainchild of legendary German sportscar engineer Roland Gumpert was on show during the Blue World Technologies groundbreaking ceremony in the Port of Aalborg, Denmark. Roland Gumpert (left), Gregory Dolan, and Eelco Deckert both with Methanol Institute discussing how the RG Nathalie brings together methanol hybrid electric and four-wheel drive, a revolutionary energy concept. The MFC under the carbon hood is constantly working and providing high performance at 5 kW, which is enough energy to provide the car with its base energy while it is being driven. Four electric engines accelerate the vehicle from 0-60 in under 2.5 seconds that propel the vehicle forward with 300-600 kW. Braking power is enhanced with recuperation – the recovery and re-use of the original braking power.

In the evolution of the production model, many characteristic points were worked on compared to the prototype version presented last year. The most striking feature is the doors, which are designed as “scissor doors” –  common in cars in this class of super sports coupes with purebred sports car genes.

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, said Lorenz Loew, Chief Designer at Ideenion, who designs for the exclusive sports car brand.

Overall, this design further demonstrates the technological leadership of Roland Gumpert vehicles. The use of lightweight biological materials such as flax is particularly progressive. The “First Edition” is different from the previous carbon fibre outer skin prototype range, up to 50 percent of flax is used.

Road legal and racetrack-ready

The currently presented series version has a 15 kW methanol fuel cell that continuously generates hydrogen from methanol and thus generates electricity. This enables city trips and trips on country roads almost without using the backup battery. The energy capacity of the overall system consisting of methanol power cell with a 65-litre tank and buffer battery is 190 kWh.

The acceleration from 0-100 is 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 300 km/h thanks to two synchronized 2-speed gearboxes. Typically for Roland Gumpert, this vehicle is, of course, ready for the racetrack. An FIA-compliant space frame with a roll cage and the 4-wheel drive system ensures the necessary performance.

The vehicle uses commercially available methanol and is refueled like conventional cars in three minutes with the simplest infrastructure. The supply is free of charge for customers in the first year after delivery. Overnight delivery service has been installed for the exclusive customer base in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and is currently being expanded across Europe.

The regions of North America and the Middle East are currently being developed as well. Organization and sales are carried out by the field marketing specialist FMS as part of the internationally operating Advantage Smollan Group.

Weighing in at 1.8 tonnes, the road-legal and racetrack-ready four-engine four-wheel-drive(4E4W) Roland Gumpert Nathalie First Edition has a  65-litre methanol tank enables an over 800 km range with sportscar performance – 0 to 100 km in 2.5 seconds and 300 km/hour top speed ((photo courtesy Gumpert Aiways Automobile).

The Nathalie “First Edition” is a special edition on the occasion of the product launch. The “First Edition” is strictly limited within the Nathalie series. Overall, the Roland Gumpert “Nathalie” is limited to a maximum of 500 vehicles including the “First Edition” for the global market. The first vehicles will be available from the first half of 2021.

The lavish special equipment and special paintwork of this edition are included in the basic price for this first series. The vehicles come on the market worldwide at a price of EUR 407 000.

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