Tesla Roadster rival? Aspark makes big claim about its Owl electric supercar

The Tesla Roadster may have some new competition. At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, a Japanese electric supercar called the Aspark Owl made some noise with some ambitious performance claims. Aspark said the Owl would do 0 to 100 kph (0 to 62 mph) in under 2 seconds, similar to Tesla’s claim for the Roadster. Now, Aspark has released a video as proof.

In the video, Aspark claims the Owl recorded a 0-to-62 mph time of 1.92 seconds, just about matching the claimed time for the Tesla Roadster. But the video does leave us with some questions. We don’t see the car’s speedometer, the car itself looks like an unfinished prototype, and it was run in a confined area. If the car is really as quick as Aspark says it is, it would be possible to test acceleration in this environment, but it wouldn’t be our first choice. Aspark also used racing slicks for this test, not road-legal tires.

The Owl looks like a cross between its namesake bird and an Acura racing prototype. It’s powered by two electric motors — one for each axle. They produce a combined 430 horsepower and 563 pound-feet of torque. That may not seem like a lot in the context of Aspark’s performance claims, but the Owl weighs just 1,874 pounds. Electricity comes from a combination of batteries and super capacitors. Aspark also claims a top speed of 174 mph.

The price tag for the Owl is rumored to be around $4 million, which makes the roughly $200,000 Tesla Roadster look like a bargain. And while Tesla plans to begin delivering Roadsters in 2020, it’s unclear exactly when the Owl will enter production, or if it will even be available in the United States.

Tesla has a history of falling behind on production schedules, but Aspark brings a higher level of uncertainty. Startup automakers are a dime a dozen these days. The Owl faces competition not only from the Tesla Roadster, but from the Nio EP9 and Rimac Concept One electric supercars. Making a car is still very costly and difficult. For every Tesla, there’s a Faraday Future or Coda. Having a great idea for a car is one thing, but executing it is another.