The new models will all feature the same quad electric motor powertrain as the Lightning GT

The new models will all feature the same quad electric motor powertrain as the Lightning GT

America’s Tesla Roadster is currently the electric car king when it comes to zero emissions performance cars but British car company Lightning is hard at work preparing a new 700hp (522kW) rival for the Tesla Roadster that it hopes to have in production next year. After that Lightning will reportedly produce three more models, all of which will feature a powertrain derived from the design in the company’s first model, the Lightning GT.

Speaking with Autocar, Lightning chairman Ian Sanderson revealed that there will be a number of models: a limo sized luxury saloon, an SUV offroader and a smaller sports car. “These are some way off because we want to concentrate on the Lightning GT, but the plan is that all the derivates will use the GT's powertrain, meaning we can roll them out quickly when we are ready," Sanderson explained.

As for the Lightning GT, Sanderson said the car should be ready for sale in spring 2010 and that deposits are already starting to come in, with one-third coming from the UK alone. Other information at this point is scarce, and currently the car's exact specifications have not yet been finalized.

Some of the details we know about include a 700hp (522kW) electric powertrain featuring nano-titanate battery technology, which is enough to propel the car from 0-60mph in a flat four seconds and take it a top speed of about 130mph.

The electric drive system, dubbed Hi-Pa Drive, packs four permanent magnet brushless motors with one in each wheel. The system also allows for full traction control and regenerative braking on all four wheels independently. Due to power being developed separately in each wheel, there are no gearboxes, differentials, axles, drive shafts or propshafts in the Lightning sports car.