Wow. That’s the response this car is supposed to elicit, and that's exactly what happens.

The German Quant e-Sportlimousine comes on like gangbusters. First, this new electric car is incredibly cool-looking, like the Tesla they didn’t get around to building.

Quant e-Sportlimousine

Gullwing doors are often a sign of a car never making it into production. (Photo: Quant)

Then there’s the claimed specs: 370 miles on a charge, zero to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds, a top speed of 218 mph. And 920 horsepower (yes, you read that right, more than double the Tesla Model S) from a brave new world powertrain with four three-phase induction motors and a high-tech salt water “flow battery.”

The Renovo's only drawback is that $529,000 price tag.

Who wouldn't want one of these? The Renovo's only drawback is that $529,000 price tag. (Photo: Renovo)

We’ve been wowed before. Most recently, by the Renovo, an electric Cobra Daytona with twin electric motors, 500 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque yielding zero to 60 in less than 3.4 seconds, and a smoking hot $529,000 price tag. It’s not vaporware, but it is incredibly exotic.

And let’s not forget the Volar-e, a Spanish EV supercar from Applus Idiada that’s supposed to offer 1,000 horsepower (with 737 pound-feet of torque) and four electric motors.

Other such supercars are more amorphous, such as the Zap Motors all-wheel-drive Zap-X, a partnership with Lotus, that was supposed to deliver 350-mile charges, 10 minute recharging, and 644 horsepower from hub motors. Did I mention that this was back in 2007? Zap hasn’t produced anything vaguely like it.

Powertrain of Quant e-sportlimousine

This is how it's all supposed to work. (Graphic: Quant)

The Quant, shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March, looks great, but its whole drivetrain is pretty speculative. GE Global Research, for instance, is working on flow batteries (a sort of cross between today’s lithium-ion tech and a fuel cell), and the company has said it could be good for more than 240 miles of range. But we all know that battery development is agonizingly slow.

Quant exhibited this beauty, the NLV, with Koenigsegg at Geneva back in 2009.

Quant exhibited this beauty, the NLV, with Koenigsegg at Geneva back in 2009. (Photo: Quant)

The Quant’s NanoFlowcell may be able to do all the company says, but don’t expect packs to go into electric cars tomorrow. And there’s no release date or even production plans for the e-Sportlimousine — it’s a concept car. Quant showed another “oh wow” car (the NLV Quant by Koenigsegg) at Geneva in 2009, and we aren’t driving around in those yet.

Everybody wants to be Tesla, but so far the Model S stands alone. Kings get dethroned, but this one may reign for a while. Here's one of the supercars on the road, the Volar-e:

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Jim Motavalli ( @jmotavalli ) writes about cars, technology and the environmental world to anyone curious enough to ask.

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