Singapore’s first homegrown Supercar
What happens when you combine a Singapore start-up company and legendary F1 know-how of Williams F1? Well, to put it bluntly, you get a monster supercar that goes by the name of Dendrobium.
A company called Vanda Electric, which is owned by Wong Fong Engineering Works, a family-owned Singapore-grown SME, is aiming to produce the very first ever supercar from Singapore, and probably the first from South East Asia. Aided by Williams Advanced Engineering and some 10 million Singapore Dollars secured from Titan Capital of the USA, the team aims to build a working 1,500 horsepower supercar with a blistering 2.6 second 0-100kph time, and all in time for the 2017 Geneva Motor show in about a year from now.
Pure petrolheads who like the roar and growl of a proper car will probably eschew the rather rapid but silent milk float, but in pure performance terms, electric powertrains can beat petrol ones on any given Sunday, whilst delivering energy efficiency that fossil fuel power can only dream of.
Wong Fong Engineering may not be the most likely candidate to succeed in the development of such a rapid car – they are after all in a country not renowned for car manufacturing and are normally in the business of making truck-mounted cranes and other specialised military equipment. But for their 25th anniversary, the company launched the Wong Fong Research and Innovation Centre (WFRIC) as an idea incubator.
Now, that very incubator has given us Vanda Electrics who is set to produce the Dendrobium, an all-electric powered hypercar, if the initial spec sheets are to be believed. The car has 100kwh of battery power, which should give it about 400-kilometre range, which is approximately enough to go back and forth across Singapore about eight times and a top speed of around 400kph, but we’re sure that is not at the same time.
Vanda has enlisted EPTA to design the rather sleek and low-slung carbon-aluminium body, which is rather low at the front and somewhat open-ended at the back, suggesting that an active aerodynamics pack will be a feature of the car. Helping on the engineering side is the world renowned Williams Advanced Engineering of Formula One fame, who hopefully will add loads of torque vectoring and stability control technology that will stop the back wheels looping in front of the front ones every time the driver sneezes.
If this small team from Singapore can really pull this off, then the Dendrobium will be a slap in the face for the entire world’s performance car industry. After all, a company that has never built a car before has, as its first effort, a Bugatti Chiron-rivalling monster. Of course, to make an extreme electric vehicle, Vanda does not have to design its own engines as these now come off the shelf, more or less. And between now and when they build the first production run of ten cars, something a bit faster may come along….now, that is scary.
Super quick electric-powered vehicles are not likely to replace petrol power anytime soon, but they are just that much simpler than extracting power from hyrdocarbons. Just ask Elon Musk, who produces a family saloon comfortable enough to drive your grandmother in but is capable of out sprinting everything except the most exotic of supercars.
Oh, and by the way, the Dendrobium is named after a Singapore Orchid.