Hybrid supercar being developed with help from Roland Gumpert.
The Geneva Motor Show is Europe's premier automotive expo, but it's not just European automakers that show their wares there. So too, for example, do a growing array of Chinese automakers aiming to break into the European market. And the latest is AIWAYS.
The Chinese startup is preparing to hit this year's Geneva show with not one, but two electrified vehicles – not the least of which is a hybrid supercar being developed with input from Roland Gumpert, the man behind the Apollo. Called the RG Nathalie, the vehicle is set to employ an experimental methanol-electric powertrain.
Instead of burning methanol like American and Brazilian cars sometimes do as a renewable alternative to gasoline, the AIWAYS RG Nathalie will use the vegetable-based fuel more like a hydrogen fuel cell, storing electricity to deploy through four electric motors.
The advanced powertrain is said to develop 793 horsepower – slightly more than the Ferrari 812 Superfast – to accelerate to 60 mpg in under 2.5 seconds, top out at over 190 mph, and travel 745 miles before needing to charge or fuel up. 500 examples are said to be earmarked for production, and we're sure they'll be expensive.
AIWAYS is also bringing with it to Geneva another vehicle targeted more at the mass market. The U5 is envisioned as an electric crossover, closer in size to the Mercedes-Benz EQC or Jaguar I-Pace than the Audi e-tron or Tesla Model X – and more affordable. Inside its aluminum and steel construction, the AIWAYS U5 is slated to pack 185 horsepower's worth of electric motors to give it about 285 miles of range, employing an artificial-intelligence battery pack to extend that by another 62 miles.