September 1, 2015

Finland’s one of a kind electric hyper car

Pasi Pennanen’s childhood dream was to design a race car. Toroidion, the electric hyper car, is not only for racing but for weekend getaways too.
Pasi Pennanen’s childhood dream was to design a race car. Toroidion, the electric hyper car, is not only for racing but for weekend getaways too.
Toroidion

From the quiet slow Finnish countryside has come something really loud and fast that will change the hyper car world forever.

Not very often do childhood dreams become reality, but the Toroidion 1MW electric hyper car is exactly this, a lifelong vision of Pasi Pennanen, designer and CEO of Toroidion.

Raised watching rally car racing in the ’70s, Pennanen always thought these cars were somewhat bland. Then at age eight he saw the film Le Mans about a 24-hour endurance car race in France, and a spark lit inside him. The danger, the speed, and the technological levels of it all brought him a vision, that he would one day design a car that wins at Le Mans.

Concept car

The Toroidion 1MW concept car from Toroidion Ltd. was unveiled in April by Prince Albert II at the Top Marques car show in Monaco. It is completely electric holding a 1 341 horse power engine with four direct drive motors, reaching speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour in just 11 seconds. And it’s powered by a battery that lasts roughly 500 kilometres and can be changed without coming to a complete stop.

It’s a lifestyle product. Today people are willing to pay more to carry the responsibility to be green.

“We call it ‘Toro’ because it’s like a raging bull,” Pennanen claims. “People talk about horse power, but with an electric car you should call it bull power.”

Displaying a retro design with gull wing doors and fenders along with conventional trunk luggage space, Toro is not only a race car, but a street legal weekend getaway car. And while typical super cars are very high maintenance and spend much of their time waiting to be serviced, this car is designed to need only limited servicing. The company also plans to have a team of engineers out visiting the cars on customer premises to ensure they are running smoothly and always available for customer use.

“A car cannot just sit in a garage or in a collection, then it’s like a caged animal,” states Pennanen. “It should be driven.”

For the production version of the car, Toroidion Ltd. has developed what they call ‘powertrain technology’. This is a cutting edge, highly efficient method of transferring electricity from battery to motor that is also scalable for many applications such as motorcycles, boats, and even aeroplanes.

Luxury hyper car market

The luxury hyper car market is consistently present, but volatile like any other. According to Pennanen, the coming and going tensions around the world may cause swings in the market, but there will always be plenty of wealthy people excited about these high end sports cars.

Also with increasing concerns about global warming, electric cars in general are becoming more attractive to the consumer. The Toroidian uses all green technology run on a battery that is easily rechargeable with any average power outlet.

“It’s a lifestyle product. Today people are willing to pay more to carry the responsibility to be green,” reflects Pennanen. “It’s nice to escape to the countryside knowing you don’t need to go to the petrol station.”

Up to date, Toroidion Ltd. has been a family business personally financed by about 20 board members with the help of Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for technology. The future plans are licencing out the new ‘powertrain technology’ and mass producing the Toroidion 1MW, and even making a four-seater or perhaps a motorcycle.

“The direction of the company is quite flexible at the moment,” says Pennanen.

But for now remains the most important goal, running Toro to victory at the 24-hour Le Mans race.

Better than a Batmobile: The Toroidion 1MW concept car was unveiled in April by Prince Albert II at the Top Marques car show in Monaco.

Better than a Batmobile: The Toroidion 1MW concept car was unveiled in April by Prince Albert II at the Top Marques car show in Monaco.

Toroidion

Text: Andy Kruse

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