Mar 21 2015
Arguably one of the most interesting concepts we’ve seen for a long time, the Quant F represents the next generation of zero emission cars. Built in Lichtenstein by NanoFlowcell AG, the F builds upon the heritage of its first model – the Quant E – consequently improving the overall experience and efficiency of the vehicle.
A brief lesson in technology, first. The Quant F runs, unlike typical fuel cell cars, not on hydrogen, but on an ionic liquid. Using a combination of two such liquids – one with a positive charge and the other with a negative charge, the car’s patented technology (read: magic) transforms the energy into electricity, without letting a single CO2 particle out in the atmosphere. Stored in twin 250 litre tanks, the liquids are, according to the producing company, “liquid salt” and thus incapable of causing any damage whatsoever, as they are not flammable and non toxic and the charge time should take a mere 5 minutes, putting the charging time of electrical cars to shame.
However, there is a need for an appropriate infrastructure should the nanoFlowcell technology is bound to be mass produced. Charging stations should be placed every 500 miles and considerable modifications to “normal” filling stations should be operated – and there remains the issue of cost, which should be supported (at least in theory) by the governments. Will the technology be this impressive and offer such benefits that it justifies these kinds of investments? This remains to be seen and, like electrical and Hydrogen powered vehicles, it might just turn out to be a reality.
From a visual standpoint, the Quant F continues the lines of the original Quant E. Minor modifications were employed at the level of the headlamps, which now have a characteristic LED pattern, the wheels have receive a more dynamic design and the rear has been fitted with a small retractable spoiler that rises above 50 miles per hour, to increase downforce.
The car retains the same shape as the previous model. The A pillars have been narrowed a bit, whilst the extra large gullwing doors (essentially two sets of doors moulded into a single unit) have remained, providing facile access for up to four persons, including the driver. Another noteworthy feature is the double bubble roof which joins with the rear window and flows towards the rear of the car, creating an interesting visual spectacle. While the front is dominated by a huge grille flanked by two air admissions of considerable size (each decorated with a wave-like pattern) and the supple bonnet takes nearly ¼ of the car, the rear is extremely compact and employs a massive air diffuser as an aesthetic element. A pair of slim rear lamps, situated in the upper portion of the tail is the only other elements present, as only swoops and curves, owing to the curious body line of the automobile, are left to be admired.
Quant F – 5 Point Car Review
As outlandish as the exterior of the Quant F may be, its cabin space is one step beyond that. Designed as a four seater, the F has individual bucket seats for each of its occupants, and all of them are wrapped in premium leather.
The most innovative feature is represented by the dashboard, which is one immense screen, with only two knobs available for the A/C control. Situated behind the steering wheel (which features a flat portion both on top and on the bottom), the huge display resides. Serving both as an instrument panel, an information centre and an entertainment unit, the versatile digital dashboards seeks to replace the conventional controls of a normal vehicle.
The centre console is fabricated entirely out of wood, which wraps around the door panels and carries on until it meets the rear of the vehicle, in a continuous, uninterrupted line; the same design element separates the left and right part of the car and creates a inviting and intimate experience once seated. Embedded in it, LEDs serve as power for luminescent accent features running its entire length.
According to Nunzio La Vecchia, the company’s Chief Technical Officer, the exterior is 100% completed ready for certification, while the interior is 90% prepared to meet the stringent safety requirements of existing legislation both in the Unites States and in Europe.
Unfortunately, save for a few promotional videos, neither the Quant E nor the F have been driven by anyone else outside the company. La Vecchia stated that they are still in the developing stages of the new technology and that is the reason for which no official drive tests have been scheduled. However, that doesn’t prevent us from speculating – and an independent suspension system is not that farfetched, especially since the Quant F is marketed as being a four door supercar.
An existing feature, much emphasized by the company’s representatives, is the transmission. Built in house, the Quant F utilizes a non conventional two speed automatic that can run in four wheel drive mode when cruising, but it is capable of disengaging the front axle if more power is required – say, for a top speed run. This would lend it a more sporty character and put its massive power supply – and delivery of it – in a spotlight.
There is no manner of telling how reliable a vehicle running on nanoFlowcell technology may be, but according to the representatives of the firm, it would outperform the conventional electric vehicles currently found on the market. Moreover, the actual car is just a showcase item, as they stressed that it is the technology that is important, not the actual automobile. Further developments would take segments such as maritime applications, airplanes, commercial vehicles and railroad worthy machines.
Yet, without any solid evidence except for their word of mouth, no definitive conclusion can be set in stone – at least, not at the moment. The best thing would be to sit and observe how and if the company is able to pass its certification efforts, alongside the hurdle of mass producing automobiles.
Longer than an extended wheelbase Mercedes Benz S-Class, the Quant F measures 5,257mm, but it won’t be as heavy, as it employs a carbon fibre monocoque and composite materials are used throughout its build.
As mentioned, it utilizes an innovative two speed automatic transmission working in tandem with four electric motors, each attached to a wheel and produces, in total, over 1,075 horsepower for a limited time, with the voltage soaring to 735V. If it should make it to mass production, the voltage would be reduced to 400V, in order to comply with technical and energy consumption requirements.
With a maximum range of 500 miles, the Quant F is more than 30% more energy efficient than its 2014 predecessor, thanks to the twin 250 litre tanks, separately housed inside the car’s substructure.
Coming at a non disclosed price, the Quant F is not yet ready for primetime. The company has offered no indication of how much an example would cost, which leaves us speculating. Taking into consideration the time and effort spent into developing the nanoFlowcell tech, the revenue spent for R&D and the resources necessary for certification and setting up a factory for mass production, the cost would probably reside between the high hundreds of pounds up to a million or more.
Unveiled as a four seat supercar, the Quant F follows the same regime dictated by its positioning on the sports car segment, meaning that it will not compete with your wagon or even average saloon when it comes to luggage capacity. The cabin is quite snug, offering space for only four adults, despite its incredible limousine-like length.
What’s more, the Quant F comes with fitted luggage for the rear seats, meaning that the front and rear hatches (which have never been opened in front of a live audience) will not be able to carry too much. Could the massive tanks take away storage space? Possibly, but without any confirmation, we cannot do anything but wonder: “what if?”
In need of more information on the Quant F? Then click this link to find out more.