If electric cars are the future, we're not all that sad if Ariel offers a glimpse of what can be achieved sans an internal-combustion engine. The small UK-based automaker has revealed the Ariel Hipercar, short for High Performance Carbon Reduction, and it's coming with some pretty astounding performance specifications.
"Hipercar" is a working title, so to speak, and Ariel will provide a proper name closer to its release in 2019. But the name is fitting.
An electric motor will be present at each of the four wheels. Each will make 299 horsepower for a grand total of 1,196 hp. But, Ariel will also offer a two-wheel variant that promises a total of 598 hp. Both figures are lofty considering the Hipercar will likely be a light, agile piece of machinery. Either a 42- or 56-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack will be coupled with a 35-kilowatt range-extending engine to dismiss any range anxiety. Power will be shifted to the wheels via a single-speed gearbox, and the entire motor, gearbox and inverter assembly weighs only 126 pounds.
What does all of this translate to? A 0-60 mph time of 2.4 seconds and a 0-150 mph run of just 7.8 seconds. A top speed of 160 mph is targeted, according to Ariel.
As for the chassis, a CNC folded, bonded-aluminum monocoque will be part of the package and removable aluminum front and rear subframes will be used. The Hipercar's suspension will feature double wishbones at all four corners with dampers supplied by Bilstein.
Ariel is developing a bespoke power steering system to provide the ultimate feedback to the driver. Forged or carbon composite wheels will also be wrapped in beefy 265/35/20 front and 325/30/21 rear tires. If this isn't the electric-car fan's ultimate enthusiast machine, we don't know what is.
The photos provided are working prototypes and the design has not yet been finalized, per Ariel. "We’re different at Ariel and the core of Hipercar is the technology, the design, and the engineering so that’s what we are showing," Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, said.
Ariel says the Hipercar will debut in 2019 as a rolling chassis with its components exposed and enter production sometime in 2020. As for the price, the company made it clear it wants the Hipercar to represent tremendous value over $1 million-plus hypercars, and it plans to outgun their performance in every respect.