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800-horsepower electric supercar hopes to usher in the methanol fuel cell age

•, Loz Blain

Looking uncomfortably close to a tricked-up Nissan GT-R, the Nathalie is a 2-door sports coupé with an electric motor at each wheel, a top power spec of 600 kW (800 hp) and a top speed in excess of 190 mph (306 km/h). It's got a chrome-moly tube frame, a carbon chassis, and plenty of aerodynamic bits for downforce. As with everything Gumpert's laid his hands on, it looks neat, with a youthful and sporty interior, and it goes like the clappers.

Electric vehicles are already highly capable and super practical for the vast majority of driving for most people, who generally do short, regular daily trips that can easily be managed with a full overnight battery top-up at home. For the much lower percentage of trips that take you farther afield, there are some cars that concentrate on offering you super-fast charging, and others that use petrol or diesel generators to charge the batteries as you drive and extend your range.

Gumpert isn't satisfied with either of these options, and wishes to put forth an alternative. The Nathalie thus cruises with a built-in methanol fuel cell. Methanol, says Gumpert, is a third the price of petrol, a ton easier to handle than hydrogen, and allows you to fill your car up in about three minutes to achieve an impressive range of around 530 miles (850-odd km) on a tank if you stick to around 50 miles per hour.

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