The Ariel Hipercar is the latest creation from the Somerset-based firm, which arrives with four electric motors and a 110,000rpm turbine range extender
Ariel has a history of challenging the establishment with its scintillating ultra-light offerings, and now the firm is locking horns with the world’s most exclusive hypercars. Aptly named the Ariel Hipercar, the radical new model boasts four electric motors, a carbon fibre body and a 0-60mph time of just 2.09 seconds.
The Hipercar is a marked departure from the barebones tubular frame-based Atom and Nomad, signified by its electric drivetrain and bonded aluminium chassis. The cabin is fully enclosed for the first time in an Ariel product, with an aero optimised body that features butterfly doors and a raft of air pathways to generate downforce and stability at speed.
For precise torque vectoring control, Ariel has installed 295bhp electric motors to power each wheel for a combined 1,180bhp and 1,800Nm of torque. This propels the 1,500kg Hipercar to 100mph from rest in 4.42 seconds, and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Ariel expects to beat these preliminary performance figures by a few tenths with the production car, and a lighter two wheel drive version will also be available with 590bhp.
To withstand hard track sessions, the Hipercar’s 62kWh battery pack is liquid cooled. It’s mounted under the floor and within the wheelbase for the sake of weight distribution and dynamics. In WLTP testing the Hipercar achieves 150 miles of range, but its defining mechanical feature is an optional turbine range extender engine which increases this figure. Built by Cosworth, the unit sits at the rear of the car and generates 35kW of power to top up the battery on the move. It’s able to run on petrol or other fuels.
The Hipercar is suspended by machined aluminium double wishbones front and rear, with adjustable anti roll bars and adaptive Bilstein dampers which offer compression and rebound adjustment. Given the weight of the car and its chunky 265-width front tyres, Ariel has fitted power steering.
British firm AP Racing has produced the Hipercar’s braking system, which comprises six-piston front and four piston rear callipers, with an electric servo and adjustable brake balance. The driver can also alter regenerative braking settings, and there’s adjustable traction control and torque vectoring to fine-tune the car’s handling. As already seen on the Atom 4, Ariel will fit carbon fibre wheels to the production car, with racy Michelin Cup 2 R tyres available as an option.
The cabin design has yet to be finalised, but Ariel promises that it will accommodate tall adults in comfort, with physical buttons and steering wheel controls to operate the car’s major functions. Key driving information will be shown via TFT screens.
Order books are already open for the Hipercar, which is set to hit the road in around two years time. Customers are currently able to place a deposit to secure a build slot, and although final pricing is yet to be announced, the Hipercar will cost less than £1 million (including taxes).