The electric sports car segment is about to heat up with the announcement that the UK’s Lightning Car Company is currently developing a new GT to rival Tesla’s famous Roadster. Powered by individual electric motors in each wheel hub, the combined output of the car will be in the area of 700bhp. Each motor will produce peak torque of 750Nm, with 100% of twist available from zero rpm.

The new GT will be offered in three different guises. The standard model will be the ‘GT’, followed by the lightweight ‘GTS’ and the long-range ‘GTSE’, the latter featuring extra battery packs designed to increase the driving range to 250 miles. The carmaker claims the car should reach 60mph from rest in less than four seconds and the batteries will take just ten minutes to charge.

The current stumbling block for most carmakers developing electric vehicles is battery technology. Lightning Car has overcome the problem, it says, by utilizing Nanosafe batteries from Altairnano Inc., which has been developing the technology since the start of the decade. The four-wheel electric drivetrain is being sourced from another company, PML Flightlink Ltd, whose ‘Hi-Pa Drive’ technology can regenerate power under braking.

Full carbon-fiber construction for the car’s body and a monocoque chassis made from aluminum honeycomb subsections means the new GT should only weigh about 1,350kg with the batteries installed. Lightning Car are hoping to have the first car ready for evaluation by the end of the year with the first orders set to start by the end of 2008.

Via: Piston Heads