First official sketch of the Ariel HIPERCAR
The HIPERCAR will be the first closed-cockpit Ariel model
Rolling chassis for the HIPERCAR will be displayed in September 2017
Chassis is in folded aluminium with integrated rollover protection
Front and rear subframes are in aluminium, suspension is adjustable on compression and rebound
Bonded aluminium monocoque is laser-cut and CNC-folded
Two different battery packs are being developed separately for the 4WD and 2WD models
Inverters have been developed by engineering company Equipmake
Each APM200 motor weighs 40kg
- Latest news on Ariel Hipercar
- Near-£1m EV’s design finalised
- Range extender version also available
Ariel has revealed new details of its extreme new Hipercar, which is confirmed for ‘low volume production.’
We first saw details of Ariel’s most ballistic project yet back in 2019. Now Ariel has released images of its first working prototype on the road, with what it says is production-spec bodywork. What Ariel also tells us is that Hipercar won’t be it’s proper production name.
Woah, this looks wild!
Doesn’t it just, almost as if someone’s shrunk the Batmobile in the wash. But it’s remained true to Ariel’s initial sketches that were first released back in 2019. The bodywork is all carbonfibre and designed for drag efficiency, and every one of the fins, vents and scoops serves an aerodynamic purpose. There are even butterfly doors fitted as standard. The chassis itself is bonded aluminium monocoque.
Extensive use of carbon and aluminium is designed to keep weight down – almost a necessity given Ariel’s history with the Atom and Nomad – meaning the Hipercar can weigh as little as 1400kg for the two-wheel drive version.
While it looks rather cosy inside, with big screens and an aircraft cockpit-like set of switches, Ariel says consideration has been taken into effect to make sure those over 6’4.
Enough dawdling – gimme specs!
The Hipercar, which looks as if someone shrunk the Batmobile in the wash, features a 62kWh battery pack from Cosworth with a 295bhp e-motor per wheel.
Ariel says there will be rear- and all-wheel drive versions available, meaning the two-wheel drive version has 590bhp at its disposal, while the all-wheel drive one has a blistering 1180bhp to play with. For the all-wheel drive car, that means a 0-60mph time of 2.09 seconds, and a 0-100mph time of 4.4 seconds. Ariel also says that with improvements in torque vectoring, those sprint times can be reduced further.
Range is claimed to top out at 150 miles, but Ariel will offer a micro turbine range extender as an option. The range extender’s turbine uses catalytic exothermic reactions to generate power, running at 120,000rpm to generate a continuous 35kW charge for the battery pack. Ariel says using a turbine as a range extender is ‘significantly smaller and lighter than any piston or rotary alternative.’ It’s also designed to run on ‘a variety of fuels,’ and will be capable of using hydrogen ‘in the future.’
As for engineering to help it be a riot to drive, the Hipercar features all-round double wishbone suspension and adjustable roll bars, as well as adaptive dampers from Bilstein. AP Racing six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes are applied, and the Hipercar also features adjustable traction control to tweak the torque vectoring. While the prototype runs on forged wheels, production cars will use carbon wheels shod in Michelin Cup 2 R tyres.
When and how much?
While final pricing is to be confirmed, Simon Saunders, director of Ariel, says the all-wheel drive Hipercar ‘with range extender on the road in the UK, with all taxes, will be under one million pounds. Although expensive, we’re determined to make it value for money, like all Ariel products.’
Production-spec Hipercars are also ‘about two years away,’ but you can order one now.