An Electric Car So Pricey That Only 99 Are Being Built —and No Two Will Be Alike
The 2022 New York International Auto Show, which just concluded, was diminished from its past glories, but there were still many interesting cars to see.
With relatively few new model introductions, the global debut of the Austria-based Deus Automobiles’ Vayanne, an electric hypercar with eye-popping statistics — more than 2,200 horsepower, a top speed of 248 miles per hour and zero to 62 mph in 1.99 seconds —Drew a lot of attention. The press event was marred by NYIAS ‘technical glitches, so not everyone got the full story.
The Vayanne on display is what Adrian-Filip Butaca, the brand’s director of design, calls a “production-oriented concept.” It’s not a fully functioning car, but it runs enough to move around the show floors. The finished product, in an edition of only 99, will be delivered to customers starting in 2025, with a price tag around US $ 2 million.
And Butaca says no two Vayannes will be alike. “If you order one particular configuration, the customer after you will not be able to get the same combination of color, trim, and optional equipment,” he said. “The color code will be locked to you.” A great deal of customization will be possible — customers can bring in a piece of colored cloth, and God will match it for any part of the car that’s desired.
The idea of the Vayanne is that it will be “a niche product and an extreme vehicle, but one that can be enjoyed daily,” Butaca said. “It’s bespoke, and tailored to the customer’s liking.”
The car is attractive in the aerodynamic hypercar style, with front and rear styling incorporating an infinity loop (lit up in the rear). Sustainable leather is promised for the interior, along with a digital instrument cluster and display.
Some hypercars are pretty to look at but uncomfortable to access and rough to drive. To avoid that, Vayanne enlisted international partners. According to Dyrr Ardash, head of strategic partnerships at Williams Advanced Engineering in England, “We were effectively the technology partner, working on electric propulsion, including the battery and motor, and the chassis architecture. We worked on the technology under the skin. We play to our strengths, working with Italdesign’s body engineering skills. ”
Williams also partners with Jaguar / Land Rover, and has been instrumental in that company’s victories on the Formula E race circuit. “We work with clients — not all of whom want to be identified — in the Far East, including China and Japan, Europe and North America,” Ardash says.
Marco Volpengo is a senior automotive business development manager at Italdesign, based near Turin, Italy. “We were excited to be working on this kind of extreme vehicle that is nonetheless usable — it’s unique to the market,” Volpengo says. “Our role was to support the team from a technical standpoint, using the most advanced technology. It’s a hypercar that is accessible and easy to get in and out of, which we achieved using virtual reality tools. ” It will be a low car, with only 4.7 inches of ground clearance, but that doesn’t mean owners will have to contort themselves slipping into it.
Italdesign, founded in 1968 with the active participation of probably the country’s best-known car designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, puts cars through rigorous processes analyzing ingress and egress, visibility, reachability, and haptic feedback (including how the buttons feel). The 99 Vayannes will actually be built at Italdesign’s facilities in Italy. Italdesign was acquired by the Volkswagen Group in 2010.
The Vayanne isn’t yet finalized, but Ardash said it will have an 85-kilowatt-hour battery, with approximately 300-mile range. The target weight is 1,850 kilograms, or 4,078 pounds. “We think we’re class-leading with that target,” Ardash said. He said that composites will be used in the Vayanne’s construction, some of it recycled.
Deus was launched in Vienna in 2020. Its first car will be the electric Vayanne, but the company’s commitment is to alternative propulsion — whatever that might mean in the future. “Right now it’s electric,” Butaca said. “Our goal was to create a timeless vehicle, and that’s why when people at the auto show had to ask us if it was electric, we knew we had reached our goal.”
The Vayanne’s next US showing is at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August. Perhaps some customers will order them there. Asked to profile the intended buyer, Butaca said, “We see complex individuals who really enjoy driving. First and foremost, they will want an exclusive vehicle that can be taken out on the road and enjoyed — unlike any hypercar to date. ”