Ariel Motor Company, the faintly potty Somerset-based firm behind the legendary Atom and Nomad, have announced a 1,180bhp hypercar.
Codenamed "HIPERCAR", the planned machine is a series hybrid range extender available in two- or four-wheel-drive. The four-wheel-drive version will have a total drive power of 220kW at each wheel, adding up to 880kW or 1,180bhp.
The resultant performance figures are staggering, on paper at least. A 0-60mph time of 2.4 seconds is Veyron-esque but it's 0-150mph time is a mere 7.8 seconds. That's roughly how fast a Boeing 737 is going when it starts to take off.
This monstrous powertrain is fed by a 42kWh lithium ion liquid-cooled battery, as well as a petrol-powered turbine to generate more electricity. This latter motor runs at 120,000rpm and is capable of generating 35kW.
It's remarkable to have this level of technical detail at such an early stage in the product's development, especially considering there aren't any decent photographs of the car yet.
"We’re not unveiling final bodywork at this stage and it’s unusual for a car manufacturer to do things this way round," says Ariel director. Simon Saunders.
"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 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."
Ariel began working on this project in 2014 as a feasibility study into adding more production models to Ariel's repertoire. The first prototypes are expected to be ready this September. Prices have yet to be announced.
"Like other Ariels we want HIPERCAR to represent excellent value for money for the remarkable performance on offer," says Simon.
"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."