Twenty years ago, if you told someone you were building a car but needed to drop your twin-turbo V8 for electric motors for more power, they’d laugh at you. However, today, in 2022, that’s exactly what the German boutique manufacturer Wiesmann just did. For its all new 2022 Wiesmann Thunderball, it ditched the typical BMW V8 and swapped in a pair of electric motors, to make a whopping 671 horsepower.
Interestingly, Wiesmann chose a unique approach to its powertrain layout. Typically, a pair of electric motors means one at each axle, giving it all-wheel drive. However, the Thunderball’s pair of motors sit only on the rear axle, making it rear-wheel drive but giving it real-time torque vectoring in a way that even the best limited-slip differentials couldn’t dream of.
In addition to that 671 horsepower, the Thunderball’s pair of motors make a whopping 811 lb-ft of torque, which is probable enough to bump start a cargo ship. Despite being heavy for a carbon fiber-intensive roadster (but light for a modern EV), at 3,747 lbs, Wiesmann claims a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.
Wiesmann gave the Thunderball some impressive battery tech as well. It uses an 83 kWh usable battery pack with 800-volt architecture, which allows it to charge at up to 300 kW. For reference, the BMW’s fastest charging EV, the iX, can only charge at 200 kW. That 83 kWh battery pack is also said to provide up to 500 km (311 miles), which equates to around 3.7 miles per kWh. The best efficiency I saw out of a BMW iX was 2.8 miles per kWh. Obviously, that’s not a super fair comparison, as the iX weighs almost 2,000 lbs more (the weight of modern EVs boggles my mind sometimes). Still, for an extremely small boutique manufacturer, Wiesmann has developed some impressive electric tech.
It’s also Wiesmann’s best looking car yet, with classic roadster proportions, short overhangs, and gorgeously muscular wheel arches. The interior is lovely, too, with fantastic looking sport seats and a driver-oriented cockpit. Despite being all-electric, Wiesmann gave it a ton of analog gauges, in addition to its main digital driver’s display, which is an awesome touch.
Wiesmann hasn’t yet released pricing but you can bet it will be expensive. Its body is made from a blend of carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel, which isn’t cheap, and Wiesmann is going to have to recoup some of that heavy cost of EV development. Plus, like all Wiesmann models, it’s going to be an extremely low-volume car. Most of us will never get to see a Wiesmann Thunderball in person but it’s awesome knowing it exists.