The covers have come off Singapore’s first-ever hypercar, the Dendrobium, which has made its world debut at the Geneva motor show this week.
The brainchild of electric mobility company Vanda Electrics, Dendrobium is a two seater all-electric sports car concept, which features an aerodynamic design and a target top speed in excess of 200 mph.
The startup company has also engaged a number of key partners to develop the concept car, including Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services division of the Williams Group.
Specialising in a number of core areas that are relevant to the Dendrobium, including aerodynamics, lightweight structures, vehicle integration and, of course, electrification, Williams Advanced Engineering is said to have taken the project from the design stage to dynamic concept car.
However, the car has been styled by Vanda’s in-house design team and incorporates an automatic roof and doors, which open in a synchronized manner, supposedly resembling a fully-opened dendrobium flower, a genus of orchids native to Singapore.
The designers claim the unique feature is not just for show either – it is also said to improve access to the cockpit, making ingress and egress easier than other hypercars. The tear drop shape that forms around the cockpit and ends in the tail – where the plug-in port is located, just behind a panel above the charging light, which shows the status of the car’s battery – is a design feature that seems to have remained a key part of the Dendrobium from the initial sketches.
Other details include an aerodynamic floor, rear double diffuser and front splitter. At the back, the rear light bar floats over the tail of the car, and throughout the design there is motorsport-inspired functionality, such as the exposed double wishbone front and rear suspension.
That motorsport theme is continued in the materials used. In order to meet its target weight of 1,750 kg, the Dendrobium features a composite monocoque chassis, carbon-fibre body panels, carbon ceramic brake discs and lightweight alloy calipers inside 20-inch front and 21-inch rear alloy wheels, wrapped in Michelin high performance tyres.
Carbon-fibre is also used extensively in the interior, contrasting with a bright red body-hugging sports seat. Both driver and passenger seats feature stitching and motifs that are claimed to have been inspired by muscle-fibres.
Sitting in the driver’s eye line is a digital dashboard flanked by two rear-view displays, which take feeds from wing-mounted cameras. All of the dashboard buttons are hexagon-shaped; a recurring design theme throughout the Dendrobium, replicated in the air vents, front grille and headlight bezels, for example.
Although strictly a concept car at this stage, performance targets for the hypercar are a top speed in excess of 200 mph and 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds. The project will feature the latest lithium-ion battery and electric powertrain technology calling on Vanda Electrics’ own expertise and, of course, that of technical partner Williams Advanced Engineering; the latter is currently the sole battery supplier to Formula E.
Should the Dendrobium go into production, a layout featuring two inboard-mounted electric motors per axle, with a single-speed gearbox and differential at the front and a multi-speed gearbox and differential at the rear, is envisaged.
Vanda Electrics says if it receives enough positive interest at the Geneva motor show, the first model could hit the road by 2020.
“Our design team has had sketches of an electric hypercar on the drawing board since the mid-90s, but that vision was many years ahead of its time. As electric technology has advanced, we have been able to revisit this vision and now, as we launch our revolutionary global e-mobility strategy, the timing is finally right for us to take the wraps off a halo model,” says Vanda Electrics CEO, Larissa Tan.
Source: Vanda Electrics