If electric cars are the future, we’re not all that sad if Ariel offers a glimpse of what can be achieved.
The small British firm in 2017 announced plans for a high-performance extended-range electric vehicle code-named the Hipercar, and whose range extender would be a gas turbine. It seemed to be the trend back then as there were a handful of companies with similar concepts that year.
Hipercar, which stands for “High Performance Carbon Reduction,” is a fitting code name as the car should deliver hypercar-like performance. Things are still at the prototype stage but Ariel has already locked in some of the specs.
There will be multiple variants of the Hipercar, with the range-topper to feature a four-motor, all-wheel-drive powertrain consisting of two electric motors at each axle. Each motor drives a wheel via a single-speed transmission, and combined output of the system is 1,180 hp and 1,342 lb-ft of torque. Impressive when you consider the targeted weight is 3,430 lb. A tamer rear-wheel-drive option with two electric motors at the rear axle and half the output will also be on offer.
Powering the electric motors is a lithium-ion battery with a usable 56 kwh of capacity. The range on battery power alone is estimated at 150 miles but to boost this Ariel will offer the option of a gas turbine range extender.
What does all of this translate to? According to Ariel, 0-60 mph acceleration in about two seconds, 0-100 mph in about 4.4 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph. Figures are for the more powerful four-motor version.
As for the chassis, it consists of a bonded-aluminum monocoque structure with removable aluminum front and rear subframes. The Hipercar’s suspension features double wishbones at all four corners with dampers supplied by Bilstein. Forged or carbon-fiber composite wheels will be available, wrapped in beefy 265/35-size tires at the front and 325/30 at the rear. Ariel is also developing a bespoke power steering system to provide the ultimate feedback to the driver. If this isn’t the EV fan’s ultimate enthusiast machine, we don’t know what is.
Ariel targets a start of production in 2024. Pricing information will be announced closer to that date.
Note, Ariel isn’t the only company working on an insane electric pocket rocket. There’s also fellow British firm McMurtry which plans a road-going version of its record-breaking Speirling track car.