Toroidion: the 1,341bhp electric 'megacar'
Gull-winged all-electric Toroidion concept car can produce a megawatt of power
An experimental Finnish car has become just the second electric vehicle to achieve a megawatt rating, the equivalent of 1,341 horsepower.
The prototype was unveiled at Top Marques Monaco, and becomes the first electric car to rival Koenigsegg's 'megacar', the One:1 – a car which makes the "monumental McLaren P1 look sluggish and timid", according to Digital Trends.
Megacar is a "neologism that refers to one megawatt of power", Top Gear magazine explains.
The Toroidion was developed in Finland to showcase a radical all-electric powertrain capable of producing such astonishing levels of power output.
The car will not actually go into production, but was devised as a concept to showcase the engineering abilities of the company behind it, also named Toroidion.
The gull-winged car produces power with a motor at each wheel, making it effectively a four-wheel drive. It's acceleration and top speed are not yet known, but according to Top Gear "our guess as to how fast it will be if it ever becomes a real thing is 'very'".
Inside, the Toroidion has been stripped back to its basics by former Jaguar and Zagato designer Pasi Pennanen, who heads up the new company. The car has two racing-harnessed bucket seats, a rev-counter and a suede steering wheel, but little else.
Following in the footsteps of the Tesla Model S, the Toroidion has a removable battery pack, which would theoretically allow owners to swap their batteries at service stations rather than having to charge their car. Tesla currently operates a battery-swapping station in California as a "proof-of-concept exercise", Digital Trends notes, but the idea hasn't taken off yet.
According to Pennanen, the motivation for building the Toroidion was to create an "electric powertrain suitable for comfortable daily driving as well as for serious Le Mans racing, where safety and performance come first".
Scandinavia is fast developing a name for itself in the field of supercar design, says GizMag.
Besides the Toroidion's sheer power, which is almost unmatched among the new breed of electric supercars, "the car showcases some interesting technologies with a wide range of potential applications, from a scalable powertrain to a fast-swap battery system," the tech site says.
The car looks something like a C5 Corvette, "only with a cartoon-like, too-small-for-its-body cabin". GizMag says, but the "over-rounding" of the edges gives an "interesting show car, would not drive in public" feel.
Transport Evolved disagrees, noting that the "Toroidion certainly looks the part, with a long, slender worthy of any classic supercar from the last quarter century."
Mercedes Benz built an electric version of its SLS AMG, but subsequently pulled it, and Croatian company Rimac is working on a small number of electric supercars of its own, but Torodion is holding off on production of its new machine for now. Many believe that the first electric supercar that may sell in any real numbers will be the Audi R8 e-tron, which will be sold at a "yet-undisclosed price from late 2015", Car and Driver reports.