Ariel Hipercar EV Has 1,180 HP, AWD, And A Range-Extending Jet Turbine

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'Hipercar' stands for HIgh PERformance CArbon Reduction.

Ariel first announced that it was working on an electric hypercar slayer called the Hipercar back in 2017. Back then, all we had to go on were claims and digital renders. But the car has now been completed and is ready to meet the world. And no, we did not spell that wrong. Hipercar is short for HIgh-PERformance CArbon Reduction.

The Hipercar seemed highly unlikely at the time of its original announcement, given the vast amount of cash required to develop an EV from scratch. Ariel also built a reputation for building lightweight skeletal cars with bonkers power, resulting in insane power-to-weight figures. Batteries and low-weight go together like peanut butter and scrambled eggs, so we were hardly surprised when the concept faded.

As it turns out, the part about the funding was true. Ariel is a privately owned company that produces niche vehicles in extremely limited numbers. A large conglomerate like Stellantis likely spends more on coffee per month than the amount of profit Ariel makes in a year.

Ariel Motor Company

The Ariel Hipercar has officially been launched, but while the automaker has not yet published full details, EVO was granted special access to view the car up close and talk with the people behind the scenes.

Indeed, Ariel did not have the funds to develop an EV, but the UK has similar legislation to the recently approved Inflation Reduction Act. The UK government provided the funding to create the Hipercar, and everyone wins. Ariel gets a new hypercar, and the UK government feels good because it moves closer to its goal of zero emissions.

But enough about the funding. Here's what you really want to know. The 4WD Hipercar is powered by four individual motors, one at each wheel. Each motor produces 295 horsepower, resulting in a combined total of 1,180 horsepower and 1,342 lb-ft of torque, drawing impulsion from a 62.2 kWh battery. You have the option of a less-powerful RWD model with only 590 hp and 662 lb-ft, too. The 4WD model will hit 60 mph in 2.09 seconds and 100 mph in 4.42 seconds before topping out at 155 mph.

Ariel Motor Company

The chassis is a bonded aluminum tub covered in carbon fiber body panels. For the first time in an Ariel, the driver and passenger will have a roof over their heads. Ariel needed a closed body to improve the aerodynamics, and a place to put the roof scoop, which provides power to the turbine. Oh, we didn't mention that? Buyers can spec a micro-turbine as a range extender should the standard electric range of 150 miles not suffice.

It also comes standard with Bilstein adaptive dampers, Michelin Cup 2 tires, and AP Racing brakes with six-pot calipers at the front, and four-pot calipers at the rear.

Ariel Motor Company

While developing the car, Ariel noticed that it did not do well on the track. So it developed and patented a liquid cooling system that can feed a heated or cooled gel to every cell pack within the battery.

As for weight, it's not an issue. It is heavy by Ariel's standards, however. The Atom weighs 1,300 pounds, and the bonkers off-road Nomad is a bit fatter, weighing 1,477 lbs. The Hipercar tips the scales at 3,185 lbs, making it more than twice as hefty as the heaviest car Ariel currently produces. It's also a full 844 lbs heavier than the most famous lightweight darling currently sold in America, the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Ariel Motor Company

Many of you might be wondering why Ariel chose to go this route. Ariel could see the writing on the walls and knew it had to go electric at some point. Now that Britain is no longer part of the European Union, Ariel has not been granted the same exemption as several other niche hypercar makers.

Ariel's boss, Simon Saunders, also revealed that the rest of its range will be electrified in the future.

As for when you can drive the first electric car from Ariel, the Hipercar is still not ready to go on sale, but it will be expensive even with the government doing most of the funding. Ariel was not prepared to commit to a figure but was willing to state that it would be less than a million pounds ($1.15 million), putting it in the same ballpark as the McMurtry Speirling fan car that dominated the Goodwood Hill Climb.

Ariel Motor Company
Source Credits: EVO

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