The Gecko Goes Electric: Wiesmann Project Thunderball Continues The Botique German Automaker’s Neo-Retro Flair
Known for putting together some pretty mental tail happy sportscars, Wiesmann ditches its Bavarian heart for electric motorsby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 03:54
Wiesmann is back!! The Thunderball is a muscular electric sports car from the boutique automaker based out of German and for those of you recall, it is thankfully every bit as intimidating as its internal combustion engine cousin, but now in EV guise. This is state-of-the-art German engineering, for the purist in all of us.
Okay, before I get started, here’s a quick history lesson. If the name Wiesmann doesn’t ring any bells, the small German sports car maker that uses a Gecko as its logo, came along in 1988. They made some pretty bonkers sports cars with BMW heart until they went bankrupt in 2014.
After being acquired by British entrepreneurs Rohin & Sahil Berry in 2015, the brand is finally back, and in keeping with the times, they’re reviving the brand with an EV. This is Wiesmann 2.0 if you will.
Staying true to its founding principle of integrating German ingenuity, and engineering, with the design that carries grace and charm, the Thunderball is a two-seat roadster with a neo-retro flair.
You’ve got a long pronounced hood, short front overhangs, and the seats practically sit on the rear axle. Despite being an EV, the proportions are that of a classic British sports car with a conventional front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive layout.
The vertically mounted grille, the protruding lights, and the rounded taillights are design elements that are a throwback to the 50s and 60s. As old-school as the car may look, the body is comprised of some properly modern materials like carbon fiber, steel, and aluminum. All things considered, this German brute weighs just 3,747 pounds.
|CHASSIS: Aluminium spaceframe|
|MATERIALS: Carbonfibre, steel, aluminium|
|LENGTH: 4440 mm|
|WIDTH: 2210 mm incl. mirrors|
|HEIGHT: 1285 mm|
|CURB WEIGHT: 1775 kg|
On the inside, a good dose of carbon is once again used along with wood, leather, and metal. It all comes together rather well, I mean making bespoke sports cars is what Wiesmann has always been known for.
The dash features round gauges, with the most crucial part being the battery indicator. An all-digital instrument panel and central infotainment are stuff that you include these days and the Thunderball has it. Given the gorgeous design, you almost forget that what you’re looking at is indeed an EV.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. You’ve got two electric motors sending power to the rear wheels, that are rated for 680 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. 0 to 62 mph comes up in just 2.9 seconds.
The car has
- Stability control
- Traction control
- Limited-slip differential
Both the suspension and the torsion bar can be adjusted. The Thunderball is sitting on 21-inch wheels and 380 mm diameter disc brakes with six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear on all four corners.
|0-100 km/h Target 2.9s|
|0-200 km/h 8.9s|
|RANGE (WLTP): Over 500 km|
|CONSUMPTION: 20.5 kW per 100 km|
|POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO: 2.5 kg per hp|
|WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION (% f/r): 48/52|
Wiesmann's have been known for being pretty hairy from behind the wheel.
As for the drive, 52-percent of the automobile’s 3,747 pounds of its weight sits on the rear axle. For even better balance, and to keep the center of gravity low, the 83 kWh battery sits under the floor right in the center. The Thunderball has support for a voltage of 800 volts and a maximum charging capacity of 300 kW, and it is water-cooled. Wiesmann says that should have a WLTP range of over 500 kilometers in Europe, which works out to about 310 miles.
|LAYOUT: Rear mid-motor, mid battery|
|Configuration Dual motor|
|MAX POWER: 340 kW per motor (680 kW / 912 hp)|
|MAX TORQUE: 550 Nm per motor (1100 Nm total)|
|CAPACITY: 92 kWh|
|CHARGING: 22 kW on-board AC (up to 300 kW DC)|
Connoisseurs have long recognized the handcrafted bespoke creations by Wiesmann. With the dawn of the EV era, the German automaker will continue that tradition. The Thunderball will be built at the automaker’s facility in Dürmen, Germany, and is available for pre-order. Pricing through is yet to be announced and it is unclear if the Thunderball will indeed make it Stateside.