If you thought the McLaren 720S was fast, just wait until you see what another British firm is cooking. Tiny left-field rocket-ship maker Ariel is planning a four-wheel drive, two-seat sports car with 1180bhp – and it’s electric.
Four individual motors will catapult the car from 0-100mph in just 3.8 seconds, Autocar reports, so you already know it’s going to create some incredible times at the drag strip. Each motor feeds up to 295bhp through its respective wheel, taking power from a central, low-mounted battery with 42kWh of juice.
Boosted by a turbine-based range-extender hybrid system similar to the type Jaguar used in the C-X75 prototype, the top-secret project has been ongoing for the last three years. Ariel is calling it ‘P40’ for now, and while it’s expected to weigh as much as 1600kg – heavy compared to the Atom – a big chunk of its bulk will be batteries and hybrid system.
The chassis will be an aluminium monocoque affair and the body panels are expected to be carbonfibre to help lower weight, but Autocar’s render of how project P40 might look is an educated guess, as the styling and aerodynamics are still in development.
It should be good for over 100 miles of electric driving range before the turbine range extender kicks in, giving enough clout to let the car keep the pace up on winding roads. On a track, it’s estimated that the battery will last around 15 minutes before needing a 50-minute fast-charge.
Other numbers you need to know about are a limited 160mph top speed, its tyre-shredding 1328lb ft peak torque, a 2.4-second 0-60mph sprint and its ability to smash the 150mph barrier in 7.8 seconds – the exact same time span in which the 720S gets to 124mph. If Ariel can pull it off, project P40 is going to be a game-changer.