1,180bph hybrid supercar brings together UK developed technology
24 August 2017
Ariel Motor Company release details of its all new, ultra-high performance, range extended, electric sports car project - HIPERCAR.
Standing for High Performance Carbon Reduction, the project is destined for full release in 2019 and Ariel production in 2020 alongside the Atom, Nomad and Ace. As with other Ariel vehicles the focus of HIPERCAR is on extreme performance, agility and usability, now coupled with zero and ultra-low emissions. To be available in four wheel drive and two wheel drive variants HIPERCAR will offer staggering performance utilising cutting edge, UK developed technology and will be built in Somerset, England by Ariel.
Phase 1 of the project, undertaken by Ariel with partners Equipmake and Delta Motorsport, will demonstrate both 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive prototypes and will be shown at the Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) Show at Millbrook on 6 and 7 September 2017.
To be initially unveiled as a rolling chassis with all componentry visible, Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, said, ‘We’re not unveiling final bodywork at this stage and it’s unusual for a car manufacturer to do things this way round. What you usually get is an exterior concept with some vague promises about what is happening underneath and how wonderful it’s going to be. But, as ever, 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. This is an important part of Ariel’s future so it has to be right.”
HIPERCAR, with a model name yet to be decided, is not just an Ariel production car, destined to be one of the highest performance and sought after vehicles in the world, but also a launchpad of UK developed technology into other niche, medium volume and ultimately high volume production. The vehicle showcases what the UK can achieve in the highly competitive and fast changing automotive sector with all key HIPERCAR components - motor, gearbox, battery, power electronics, range extender, chassis, driveline and mechanical components - developed by British companies. “Developing another of the fastest cars in the world is important for Ariel,” said Saunders, “but anchoring the technology in this country and building a British supply chain is vital for the economy.”
HIPERCAR is a Series Hybrid EV (Electric Vehicle) featuring a 750 Volt, 42kWh or 56kWh, lithium-ion, cooled and heated battery pack which is charged, when required, by a 35kW micro-turbine range extender, negating any range anxiety issues and making the vehicle independent of any charging infrastructure.
HIPERCAR will be available as a 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel rear drive, full bodied car, the final exterior design of which is to be released at a later date. Based around an aluminium folded and bonded lightweight chassis with full rollover protection, the structure features aluminium front and rear subframes carrying aluminium wishbones and outboard adjustable suspension.
Powered wheels are driven by inboard motors via integral, single speed step-down gearboxes direct to driven wheels, with each individual motor developing 220kW (295bhp) and 450Nm (332 ft lb) of torque
In 4 wheel drive total power is therefore 88 kW (1,180bhp) and in 2 wheel drive form 440kW (590bhp).
Total torque is 1,800 Nm (1327 ft lb) at motor and 9,900 Nm (7301 ft lb) at the wheels in the 4 wheel drive HIPERCAR and 900Nm (664 ft lb) at motor and 4,950 Nm (3651 ft lb) at the wheels in the 2 wheel drive car.
A complete motor, gearbox and inverter assembly weighs only 57 kilos, contributing to the light weighting throughout the vehicle.
The vehicle’s electrical architecture consists of high and low voltage systems linked by multiple CAN networks enabling the Powertrain Controller, Vehicle Dynamic Control Interface and Battery Controller to communicate and interact with 12V and safety systems.
Pricing will not be finalised until later in the project. Simon Saunders said, “Like other Ariels we want HIPERCAR to represent excellent value for money for the remarkable performance on offer. It will be an expensive car because of the technology involved but when compared to £1m+ supercars, which it will outperform, it’s going to represent excellent value for money. This is the first true electric supercar that will cross continents, drive to town and lap a race track”.
• 0 – 60mph = 2.4 secs
• 0 – 100mph = 3.8 secs
• 0 – 150mph = 7.8 secs
• Top speed = 160mph