Hypercar maker Ariel has offered a glimpse of what can be achieved with batteries and backup engines in the form of the new Hipercar.
The small British firm in 2017 announced plans for a high-performance extended-range electric vehicle code-named the Hipercar, one outfitted with a gas-turbine range extender. 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 offered.
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, which can use fuel to recharge or maintain battery charge—or augment it.
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 claimed by Ariel 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 new power steering system to provide superior feedback to the driver.
Ariel targets a start of production in 2024. Pricing information will be announced closer to that date.