British firm Ariel is in the planning stages of its first-ever hypercar, the all-electric P40, which is projected to put down some 1,180 bhp and 1,327 lb-ft of torque—numbers that’re making for some interesting engineering problems for the company.
“The car delivers so much torque and power, the simulations show we could be wheelspinning at 100 mph [160 km/h] in the dry,” Ariel boss Simon Saunders recently told Top Gear.
“We need downforce at a standstill basically, so we’re actually looking at using ground effect technology like the Brabham BT46 F1 car, using fans to suck the car to the road.”
Not helping with the need for downforce is the car’s incredibly light curb weight of just 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs), but I mean the company did build its reputation on constructing feather-light sports machines like the track-focused Atom and the off-road Nomad.
That much power, and that little weight, may work to make the P40 the quickest-accelerating car to 160 km/h (100 mph) ever—the pull should take just 3.8 seconds, about a second faster than a McLaren P1. The top speed is about 155 mph (250 km/h).
It manages the feat by sending electric power – stored in a 42-kWh 680-volt battery pack – to four motors, one at each wheel. A gas turbine engine can be used to extend the range by sending 35 kW to charge the battery as needed.
The planned range, even driven fast, is circa 120 miles (190 km), and if you’re getting up to on-track antics, you should expect about 15 minutes’ use before a 45-minute recharge is required.
Ariel and its partners, U.K.-based Delta Motorsport and Equipmake, say the “hipercar,” or High Performance Carbon Reduction car, will hopefully hit the market by about 2020, followed shortly thereafter by a two-wheel-drive version with a measly 690 bhp.
Top Gear quotes Saunders on the projected price: “it’ll start with a two,” so reckon north of £200,000, or between $325,000 and $465,000 CDN.
(via Top Gear)