If you want to find out if a new performance car is the real deal, throw the keys to Valentino Balboni. He was a Lamborghini test driver for almost four decades, so he knows a thing or two about fast cars. But instead of a raging Italian bull, Balboni this time has tested out the Drako GTE electric super sedan.
Balboni started at Lamborghini as a mechanic apprentice, but eventually asked to test drive newly built cars. During his career, Balboni is thought to have test driven 80 percent of Lamborghinis built. Lamborghini even named a special-edition model after him, the Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni.
So what did Balboni think of the Drako GTE?
"It is completely different," Balboni said with a smile after his test drive. "It gives me the feeling of power."
The Drako GTE certainly has plenty of power. California-based Drako Motors took a Fisker Karma body and replaced the plug-in hybrid powertrain with an all-electric setup. An electric motor supplies 300 horsepower to each wheel, for a total of 1,200 hp.
This car isn't just notable for the amount of power on tap, but for how that power is delivered to the pavement. Each motor powers an individual wheel through a direct-drive gearbox, allowing for very precise torque vectoring. Top speed is a claimed 206 mph.
Electricity is supplied by a 90-kilowatt-hour battery pack, allowing for an estimated range of around 200 miles. The GTE is also equipped for DC fast charging at 150 kilowatts, the same charge rate as an Audi E-Tron.
Pricing is expected to start at $1.25 million, and Drako only plans to build 25 cars. Deposits are being accepted, with deliveries to begin later this year.