Muller said a V12 petrol engine would power the Los Angeles car, but an all-electric model was in the pipeline, because electric-powered SUVs make sense. “In a sports car you want the engagement of a combustion engine, but in an SUV I don’t mind having a quiet engine. Electric power is much more sellable here.”
When asked if the car could receive a hybrid powertrain, Muller suggested this was unlikely. “Think of the complications of one of the best hybrid cars, the BMW i8. It is an amazing car, but it is super-complicated and packaging is a nightmare, as is keeping the heat situation under control.
“If you use only electric motors, you do not have to deal with these issues.”
It therefore seems likely that Spyker will develop a full combustion engine version of the future SUV, and a full EV version later on.
Muller cites Tesla and its recently unveiled Model 3 as an example of why full-electric models are his preference, but he believes Spyker will go down a slightly different route technically.
“I’m all with Tesla and the full-electric approach, but I still don’t think lithium ion batteries are cost-effective. This type of battery has one major disadvantage that will not go away: degradation.”
Muller wouldn’t expand on what type of battery he would prefer to use, but no doubt partner Volta Volaré will head up the alternative technology’s development.
Spyker also doesn’t want to compete with mass-production rivals like BMW and Tesla. Instead, Muller wants to keep the production numbers of his company’s cars down.
“We don’t want to be in competition with BMW and Tesla; we wouldn’t have the means to do so. But what we can do is develop technology that will make its way into more mainstream vehicles later.”
“Take Koenigsegg for example: it can compete with Bugatti, which is owned by the VW Group. I’m very excited by the way small, boutique manufacturers like us can give the big boys a run for their money as low-volume car makers.”
Spyker unveiled its new C8 Preliator at the recent Geneva motor show. That car is powered by a supercharged 4.2-litre V8 that produces 518bhp and 443lb ft of torque and comes with a choice of a manual or automatic gearbox.