Spyker will soon start developing an all-electric powertrain for an upcoming SUV model, which is due to be revealed at the Los Angeles motor show this year.
The 2016 car will feature a more conventional combustion V12 engine, but Spyker has confirmed its intention to offer an all-electric version of this SUV at a later stage.
Benefiting from the technical expertise of its partner and electric aviation company Volta Volaré, the car maker will begin working on the electric system this summer, before presenting it to the public in 2017.
Inspired by the D12 Peking-to-Paris
CEO Victor Muller told Autocar that the model would take heavy inspiration from the D12 Peking-to-Paris concept car of 2006 (a V12 version of the D8, pictured above), which never made it to production despite the growing popularity of high-performance SUVs.
“It has always been my long-held wish to put that car into production,” he said. “You could say we were 10 years ahead of our time; today there are lots of luxury performance SUVs on the market, but then there were very few.”
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.
“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.”