1. home
  2. news
  3. Nathalie’s On Meth(anol): Gumpert’s Electric Sports Car Hits 60 MPH in 2.5 Seconds

Nathalie’s On Meth(anol): Gumpert’s Electric Sports Car Hits 60 MPH in 2.5 Seconds

A methanol fuel cell produces hydrogen to create electricity.

Greg FinkWriter

Roland Gumpert's latest sports car goes by the name Nathalie, and there's no easy way to put this-Nathalie's on meth. Methanol that is.

Nathalie produces hydrogen from methanol, which then feeds a 15-kilowatt fuel cell that powers its four electric motors. A 17.1-gallon methanol tank and a small onboard battery bless Nathalie with 190 kWh of energy capacity. That's enough juice to give this sports car a range of 510 miles on a full tank when cruising at 75 mph in its default driving mode. Swap to Eco mode and Nathalie's driving range jumps to 745 miles. Thanks to its methanol tank, Nathalie takes approximately three minutes to refuel, according to Gumpert.

Arguably, Nathalie's reliance on methanol is a deal with the devil. Remember, methanol burns with an invisible flame, making it exceedingly dangerous in an accident. It might be quicker to refuel this coupe than it is to charge a battery-electric vehicle battery pack, but is the risk of carrying that extremely flammable fuel worth it? It all seems a bit reckless to us.

With great risk comes greater reward, though, and Nathalie's 536 hp powertrain nets eye-widening acceleration figures. Mash the right pedal, and 60 mph arrives in 2.5 seconds. Meanwhile, a pair of two-speed gearboxes (one at each axle) allow the coupe to hit a top speed of 190 mph. That's supercar-like of performance.

No surprise, then, that the Nathalie wears a supercar-like price tag of approximately $460,000. That sum nets buyers one of the 500 Nathalies slated for production, a handful of which are deemed "First Edition" models and wear special paintwork. The first batch of saleable Nathalies are set to roll off the assembly line in early 2021.