A German startup automaker named NanoFlowcell has been showing ultra-modern, salt-powered concepts at the annual Geneva Auto Show for years. The cars have always been prototypes, but the company is getting closer and closer to kicking off production. And the bright yellow Quantino that will debut at this year’s show hints at what NanoFlowcell’s first production model could look like.
Previewed in a concept last year, the Quantino is a head-turning city car that stretches roughly 12.8 feet from bumper to bumper. Although it looks like it was built to star in a sci-fi movie, the coupe was designed to be fully compliant with safety and emissions regulations both in Europe and in the United States, meaning it could morph into a production model with only minor modifications such as the addition of airbags.
Technical details haven’t been published, though it sounds like the drivetrain has made the jump from concept to production with only minor modifications. If that’s the case, the Quantino is powered by a 48-volt hybrid drivetrain that uses two types of ionized fluids — one with a positive charge, one with a negative charge — to generate electricity. NanoFlowcell carefully points out that ionic fluid is essentially salt in a liquid state, and that it’s neither toxic nor flammable.
The electricity generated by pumping these fluids through cells is sent to all four wheels via four electric motors that each generate just over 27 horsepower; as a result, the Quantino’s total output is 109 horsepower. The concept offered a generous driving range, and it was capable of reaching a top speed of 124 mph. We’ll find out more of what the updated model is capable of in Switzerland in less than a month.
The Geneva show will allow NanoFlowcell to gauge the public’s reaction to the Quantino. If it generates a favorable response, the company will look into how much it will cost and what it will take to tone the coupe down a little bit more and bring it to production as a low-volume model. If everything goes according to plan, the first series-produced NanoFlowcell could hit the streets of Germany as early as next year.