Wiesmann is best known for its eccentric and characterful two-seater sports cars but now it takes the center stage as it leapfrogs ahead of Tesla to be launching the first electric roadster. While Tesla showcased its new Roadster a long time back, there is no word on when it will be available to buyers while Project Thunderball has silently slipped in to take that position. It’s an alluring amalgamation of retro-infused styling with an all-electric powertrain beneath those classic lines.
The design is clearly unmistakably Wiesmann with the design influences of classic roadsters and two-seaters from the past. The short deck and long hood have been re-mastered by these German sports car specialists while the retro grille and those unique headlamps remain. The muscular haunches and the clamshell bonnet rekindle memories of British roadsters while the wheels are pushed to the extreme ends for a hunkered-down stance. The rear styling is also old-school and delightfully so with design cues from previous Wiesmann cars. The interior has a whiff of retro but moves along with the times with a big infotainment screen surrounded by excellent analog gauges. It is not some vintage concoction as the quality standards along with the technology are similar to new cars while being beneath the veneer of retro design. The craftsmanship is also very much there too along with a hand-made vibe dripping from this interior.
The heart of the matter is the most radical part of this Wiesmann as previously we used to see BMW powertrains nestled beneath that shapely hood but now there is a new electric one from German sports car maker, Roding Automobile.
The twin electric motors generate 671 hp and 811 ft-lbs of torque while they are both mounted at the rear axle instead of the usual front/rear axle layout. This gives the Wiesmann Project Thunderball a distinct rear-drive sports car driving experience. Hence, giving it a more performance-focused personality which is what you would expect from this car. Performance claims are nothing short of savage with 0-62 mph dispatched in under 3 seconds which calls for really fast open-top driving across the French Riviera! The 83 kWh battery pack dials in some practicality for long-distance cruising as well with the Project Thunderball being able to do 311 miles (500 km) on one charge.
Factor in charging speeds of up to 300 kW and it is a practical EV albeit within the confines of being a thrill-seeking roadster. This is surely an interesting way to return from the ashes for Wiesmann and it is a wonderful mix of new-age technology coupled with back-to-basics sports car design. It is a standard grille and does not look like a futuristic EV while still packing the best bits of having an EV powertrain- which is the performance and the instant torque.
The Wiesmann Project Thunderball is an analog moment nestled beneath the same electric canvas in a world where sports cars are increasingly becoming more complicated and embracing electrification.