When people think of British manufacturer Ariel, they usually think of small-batch, fun sportscars like the acclaimed “Atom.” The little factory in Somerset produces a modest 100 cars a year, so when Ariel announced that they intended to create an electric sports car a few years back, not many in the industry took the claim seriously. But lo and behold, Ariel has released their first EV aptly named the “HIPERCAR”.
The stealth-looking electric sportscar derives its name from “HIgh PERformance CArbon Reduction” and looks every bit the menace we’d expect of cars wearing the Ariel badge. Working with a bunch of British companies (including Cosworth), the HIPERCAR will be powered by four motors fitted to each wheel, totalling 880kW.
Battery range is roughly 240 kilometres but can be extended via a catalytic generator, which is essentially a micro-turbine that runs on fuel. While it isn’t exactly awe-inspiring, you have to remember that the HIPERCAR will spend much of its existence at the track, and Ariel guarantees you’ll be able to get 20 minutes of track performance from a single charge.
Ariel boss Simon Saunders said: “Everything has gone through a lot of development since 2017. So the chassis and body are considerably more sophisticated, as are the battery, motors and control systems, but the basic idea and technical details are very broadly the same. An enormous amount of aerodynamic work has been carried out for both drag and downforce and cooling, but we have stuck to our original cool battery concept.”
The chassis is an aluminium tub that houses the 62.2kWh ‘HyLight’ multi-material, lithium-ion battery pack, while the front and rear subframes are fully removable for that boy-racer flex.
Naturally, the stealth-looking bodywork is made from carbon fibre, including some forward-opening butterfly doors to allow the two passengers to climb out with a touch of swagger. The HIPERCAR features numerous fins on the car’s exterior, designed to reduce drag on the mirrors and feed air to the turbine range extender, while the shark fins on the rear stabilise the chassis.
The Ariel HIPERCAR will be available in two and all-wheel drive with the AWD configuration claiming a 0-100 in around 2 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h. Hill climb, anyone?