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S'pore electric supercar shows blossoming of what country can do
THE stunning Singapore-designed and owned Vanda Dendrobium electric hypercar is back home and you can buy it from VinCar for "a few million euros". Before taxes, of course.
"This is the first fully electric supercar in the world, not a hybrid, by a Singapore company," says Vincent Tan, managing director of VinCar, one of the biggest parallel importers here.
The Dendrobium will be displayed from mid-September at VinCar's new showroom at 24 Leng Kee Road, with viewing by appointment.
VinCar is the Dendrobium's first Asian dealer but there are unlikely to be many representatives because of its limited production, says Larissa Tan, CEO of Vanda Electrics, which conceptualised and designed the car with technical and engineering partner Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams F1 outfit.
The zero-emission carbon fibre car zips from zero to 96 kmh in 2.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of over 320 kmh.
According to Ms Tan, the Dendrobium will be made in the tens, rather than the hundreds with a price tag of a few million euros.
However, the ballpark figure is understood to be between two and three million euros, although this will fall depending on how many are built when production begins in 2020.
VinCar says the price could drop to 1.5 million euros if a hundred units are sold worldwide.
"The more orders we have, the lower the cost," says Mr Tan.
When asked to estimate how many Singaporeans would want a Dendrobium, he says with a laugh: "Probably only a handful."
But he is more confident of demand from the South-east Asian region, mainly because "this is not a mass-produced car".
"This is a bespoke car. You can build it to your specifications, you can put a Rolex or IWC watch on the dashboard if you want. So the interest level is going to be much higher."
But for Vanda Electrics, the Dendrobium is more than just a sports car.
"This is a reset for the automotive industry in terms of design," says Ms Tan, who notes that even as the world moves towards electrification, electric cars still look like "normal cars".
"But the technology is different, so we can look at different ways of designing a car and marrying the two for something beautiful."
Like the Dendrobium, which has a central teardrop body shape and rear-hinged roof and butterfly doors.
"It is the first car in the world with automatic synchronised roof and door opening,'' says Ms Tan.
It is also a green car. For example, Ms Tan says the leather used is from Bridge of Weir because it is the world's lowest carbon tannery product.
"We are not building a car for the sake of building a car. We want to show the world what Singapore is capable of."