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SuperGreen: The EV hypercars are coming… {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

20 Apr 2017

The last few years saw the ‘big three’ hypercars all featuring hybrid powertrains. The LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 all had powerful petrol engines in V8 or V12 configurations, supplemented by electric motors which gave more power and instant torque. They were all incredibly powerful, incredibly fast and incredibly expensive. But it seems as if companies are now trying to create hypercars that remove any kind of combustible fuel and just run on battery power. Here are Tim Oldland’s Top three EV supercar releases for 2017…

1 – Rimac Concept_One

Rimac is a Croatian company that actually does a huge amount of EV work for lots of different companies, but decided to build their own supercar a few years ago. The Concept_One is certainly a beautiful car, in fact there’s no ‘future car’ look to it at all – you wouldn’t be surprised to see someone get in and hear the blare of a V12 when it starts up. It has the proportions of a proper Grand Tourer with the long bonnet and short tail. But the Rimac is a pure EV, with four electric motors (one in each wheel) that combine to provide 1073bhp and 1180lb/ft of torque, enabling the Concept_One to reach 62mph in just 2.5 seconds on the way to an incredible 221mph top speed. Range is said to be 200 miles in normal driving.  There are only eight being built and they cost around £1m each.

2 – NextEV Nio EP9

NextEV is another large electronics company that has decided to create a supercar under a new Nio brand, called the EP9 (catchy). And much like the Rimac, the EP9 is a stunning looking car, with a look of an LMP1 race car around the front end with its aero wings and deep intakes. It takes a typical mid-engine supercar approach to the styling, but adds some nice detailing and is just a really stylish supercar. Once again though this is all battery power, sticking to Rimac’s layout of a motor in each wheel, in this case combining to give 1360bhp – one megawatt. In this case, maybe down to weight or the tech involved the EP9 hits 62mph in 2.7 seconds and tops out at 194mph though, surprising given the extra 200bhp. Range is pegged at 265 miles so they appear to have sacrificed a little performance for range.

3 – Vanda Dendrobium

Well number three certainly wins the prize for most bizarre name and no, we have no idea what the name means either. It comes with some engineering chops too, being developed by Williams Advanced Engineering, who are part of the F1 team’s development base. And they have gone all out on the styling as well, really pushing for a futuristic look to try and make it stand out – again there’s a hint of LMP1 racer about the nose, while the rest of the body takes full advantage of the packaging benefits of an EV drivetrain to allow for a highly aero-tuned back end. Vanda are focusing on light weight with the Dendrobium though, so there are motors in the rear wheels then one at the front, combining to ‘only’ around 800bhp but the top speed should still be over 200mph with a sub-3sec 0-62mph sprint. The doors are suicide versions of a McLaren butterfly style which looks great, but we’d worry about them flying open at 200+mph…

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So they all sound very impressive and will undoubtedly be quick and great to drive, but I have to ask – what’s the point? They quote 200+ mile ranges, but that will be doing a sedate 60mph in mild weather conditions so the battery doesn’t overheat or they have to use the heater or wipers. If you use the performance doing 2.5 second 0-62mph sprints you’re likely to get about 30 miles on a charge while cruising at 200mph is likely to give you about 5 minutes before you’re out of juice. So you have a good looking supercar that cost £1m, but you can’t use the performance, you can however cruise around for a long time – are these just aimed at the same people that drive their hypercars around Knightsbridge in London all summer in one continuous, 2 mile loop going 15mph?

I think EV’s are the future of ‘normal’ motoring, from city cars to luxury saloons, once the range issue has been fixed (which will happen once battery tech improves) you should have a car that runs purely on electricity and can get 500 miles on one charge, or can drive around a city for a couple of weeks without needing to be plugged in. They’re quiet, have brisk performance and of course are environmentally friendly, so they suit normal motoring perfectly. But when you talk about sports cars and supercars they are bought for more than just the drive – the sound of a screaming V12, V10 or V8 as you drive your supercar down your favourite roads is why we drive them. And what’s the point of having 1000bhp if when you drive your supercar to Monaco for the summer you have to stop every 100miles for a recharge? I may be wrong but I think there will always be a place for the internal combustion engine in fun cars, after all when the car was invented people said that it would be the end of the horse. But it just meant that the horse was then used for fun recreation. EV’s are the same – they will take over but allow us to use V8s for fun – and long may they do so.

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