The Ariel Atom isn’t really a car, it’s a four-wheeled adrenaline shot. British boutique automaker Ariel stripped away everything it felt wasn’t necessary, including any semblance of bodywork. As cars go, the Ariel Atom is pretty extreme.
But Ariel is concocting something even crazier. After rumors of an electric sports car circulated online, Ariel not only confirmed its existence, but that the car will have 1,180 horsepower. The company hasn’t picked an official name yet, but is developing the electric sports car under the code name “Hipercar,” short for “High-Performance Carbon Reduction.”
Four electric motors (one mounted at each wheel) will achieve that titanic horsepower figure, plus 1,130 pound-feet of torque. Ariel claims the Hipercar will do 0 to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, and reach a top speed of 160 mph. Ariel will also build a two-wheel drive version, with two motors instead of four. That model will have “only” 590 hp and 665 lb-ft of torque.
Electricity will be supplied by 42-kilowatt-hour or 56-kWh battery packs. Ariel didn’t quote range estimates, but it will also offer a gasoline-powered micro turbine engine as a range extender. It’s worth noting that while the Hipercar will be built for aggressive driving, that’s exactly the opposite of what it takes to achieve maximum range in the real world.
Unlike the Ariel Atom and Nomad off-roader, the Hipercar will have an enclosed body. But it should still be pretty extreme: Ariel’s renderings show aggressive angular bodywork that looks more spaceship than sports car. The chassis and suspension components will be aluminum. Ariel won’t discuss the curb weight yet, but the extra bodywork and a heavy electric powertrain mean the Hipercar won’t be as lightweight as the automaker’s other cars.
Ariel will display a prototype Hipercar chassis at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show in Millbrook, England, but the completed car won’t be unveiled until 2019. Customer deliveries will start the following year. Ariel isn’t ready to discuss pricing, but it is willing to throw down the gauntlet for established supercars.
“It will be an expensive car because of the technology involved,” Ariel’s Simon Saunders said in a press release, “But when compared to 1 million pound-plus supercars, which it will outperform, it’s going to represent excellent value for money.”