The Ariel Hipercar takes the British brand into the electric sports car segment to join its existing Atom and Nomad offerings. The vehicle in these images is still a prototype, and the company plans to deliver the first customer examples in about two years.
The Hipercar will be available with a buyer's choice of all-wheel drive with four electric motors or rear-wheel drive with two motors. The four-motor setup will deliver 1,180 bhp (880 kilowatts). Ariel claims the vehicle reaches 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) in 2.09 seconds and 100 mph (161 kph) in 4.4 seconds. With the planned torque vectoring system, these times would be even quicker, according to the company's plans.
Gallery: Ariel Hipercar
The Hipercar will come with a Cosworth-sourced 62-kilowatt-hour battery offering an estimated 150 miles (241 kilometres) of range in the WLTP cycle. To boost this figure, Ariel will offer an optional Cosworth turbine range extender. It will spin at 110,000 rpm and will produce 47 bhp (35 kW) of power.
The vehicle rides on an aluminium monocoque with carbon-fibre body panels. With four motors, the estimated weight is 1,500 kilograms (3,307 pounds), and the two-motor variant would be below 1,400 kilograms (3,086 pounds). The suspension consists of unequal-length double wishbones at each corner with Bilstein dampers. The AP Racing brakes have six pistons in front and four pistons at the back. For tailoring the driving experience to the driver, it's possible to adjust the level of regenerative braking, traction control, and torque vectoring.
Ariel says the Hipercar's exterior styling comes from the requirements of achieving drag efficiency and the necessary cooling. It features vertical fins sticking up from each corner and one more running along the centre line of the rear deck. The roof-mounted scoop directs air to the turbine.
Hipercar stands for High-Performance Carbon Reduction, but the actual model name might be different. While this is a prototype, the company says the vehicle wears production-intent bodywork. Final pricing isn't available yet, but Ariel intends the number to be below £1 million. Production will take place in Somerset, England, alongside the Atom and Nomad.