If there was a competition for the most oddly named concept of the Geneva Motor Show, the NanoFlowcell QUANT e-Sportlimousine would have a strong chance of winning, but there's more to this study than it's extra-long moniker.
For starters, this thing is big, and I mean really big; the gull wing doors alone measure an impressive two meters in length (that's 6.6 feet for our American readers), while the car itself, at 5,257mm (207 inches) long, surpasses the long-wheelbase version of the latest Mercedes-Benz S-Class (5.24m or 206.5 inches)!
It rides on a 3,198mm wheelbase and is 2,109mm wide and 1,357mm tall, while tipping the proverbial scales at 2,300kg (5.071 pounds) with its flow-cell fuel tanks filled up.
NanoFlowcell, a company based in Lichtenstein, says that the QUANT e-Sportlimousine utilizes four electric motors, one for each wheel, that give out a combined maximum output of 680kW (925PS or 912hp) and a normal operating output of 480kW (653PS or 644hp), with a mind-blowing peak torque of 2,900Nm x 4, for a total of…11,600Nm or 8,555 lb-ft.
We're told that the two-door model can go up to 100km/h (62mph) in just 2.8 seconds, and reach a top speed in excess of 380km/h (236+mph).
The electric motors are fed electricity from a nanoFLOWCELL system, which in the brand's own words, operates thusly:
"[It] works like a combination of a battery and a fuel cell using liquid electrolyte, which is kept in two tanks and pumped through the cell. At the heart of the system is a membrane that separates two differing chemistries. A controlled exchange of charges releases energy for the electric powertrain."
NanoFlowcell says it’s working on the development of the system with German partner Bosch Engineering GmbH, stating that the automotive application is similar to that used for storing solar energy for domestic residences or storing wind energy.
"Until now, flow cells based on redox principles have been too heavy and their energy conversion rates too sluggish for use in mobile applications," says the company.
"This is where the nanoFLOWCELL technology opens the door to a broad palette of new technical opportunities. The improvements that have given the system such a major performance boost are the result of research into the quantum chemistry of electrolytic fluids. The most important innovation of the nanoFLOWCELL is in its significantly higher charge- and power-density thanks to an extremely high concentration of ionic charge carriers in the cell system's electrolyte," NanoFlowcell added.
One issue with this system seems to be the fuel liquid, but NanoFlowcell claims that it doesn't contain any environmentally damaging components, while pointing out that the electrolytic are composed of various non-toxic substances and that, "if sufficiently diluted, they could even be disposed of through normal wastewater treatment plants".
With two full tanks of fuel, the QUANT e-Sportlimousine returns a projected driving range between 400 and 600km (249-373 miles).
The Lichtenstein company has plans to developed road-going prototypes of the concept before the end of the year, and homologate the car in 2015.
By John Halas