Top Gear's Forgotten Supercars #1: what happened to the Dendrobium D-1?
A Singapore-backed electric hypercar with input from Williams Advanced Engineering. Ex-McLaren, Lotus and Pagani brains were behind the project, which was named after the national flower of Singapore.
The striking D-1 concept was first revealed in 2017. The numbers were enormous: 1,800bhp from four electric motors, a top speed of over 200mph, and a price tag in the region of £1.2million. Dendrobium reckoned the car would get from 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds – actually not that insane for an EV hypercar – and weigh in around 1,750kg, with a carbon fibre body encasing the battery.
DID THEY ACTUALLY BUILD ANY?
A white D-1 was extensively photographed around the time of the car’s reveal, while a green example was showcased to fans attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2019. The company had mooted entering the world’s most illustrious endurance race, once battery tech was up to the job of running at top speed for an entire day.
Road car production was slated for 2022, though an appetite to use unproven solid-state batteries (as well as investment obstacles caused by Brexit) seemingly stalled the Dendrobium dream.
The company’s website is utter gobbledegook linking to a British Genesis dealership, while the official Twitter account has been dormant since 2019.
Meanwhile Williams Advanced Engineering – which was a key player in actually building and setting up the D-1 – was sold off from the Williams mothership to an Australian metals company for some £164 million.
FMG, aka the Fortescue Metals Group, made the deal to incorporate battery tech into its industrial trucks and railway locomotives. No mention of needing an electric hypercar on the fleet, though. Shame…