Ariel makes some of the most exotic and quixotic automobiles in the world. They are the spiritual heirs to the philosophy that made Colin Chapman’s Lotus vehicles so special. “Simplify, then add lightness,” was his motto. There may never have been a simpler car that the Ariel Atom, a tubular exoskeleton filled with an engine, transmission, two seats, brakes, and very little else. It may not be much of a commuter car, but it may be the ultimate track day ride. Ariel also makes an equally brutal off-roader called the Nomad.
Now it is introducing its first ever sports car — a battery-electric 2-seater that wraps an all-aluminum chassis with the wildest carbon fiber bodywork ever seen this side of the set of a Batman movie. Ariel says it will go into production exactly as shown.
Hipercar is not just a silly marketing name (well, maybe it is). It stands for High Performance Carbon Reduction. “High performance” means different things to different people, but there seems to be no doubt the Ariel Hipercar qualifies whatever definition you choose.
According to Road & Track, the Arial Hipercar comes with a 62 kWh battery pack supplied by Cosworth (yes, that Cosworth) that runs on 800 volt architecture. Forward progress is supplied by 290 horsepower Equipmake APM motors. Buyers can opt for rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive with an electric motor at each wheel. Total output for the all-wheel drive car is 1163 hp and 1327 lb-ft of torque. Drivers of the rear-wheel drive version have to make do with 581 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.
Ariel has not mentioned when production is expected to begin or the price, but it seems likely it will fall into the “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,” category.
But that may not be the most interesting news in the Ariel Hipercar announcement. Buyers can also opt for a 47 horsepower CatGen turbine range extender engine from Cosworth that recharges the battery for more driving range. We’re not sure how a fossil fueled turbine fits in with the carbon reduction theme, but drivers probably won’t object to going a little further while ensconced in this outrageous electric dream machine.[embedded content]
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