The production version will have more power and less weight than the 1,180-hp concept - and it's coming this year.
UK-based Ariel Motor Company is renowned for making low-volume sports cars like the bonkers open-top Atom that famously ruined Jeremy Clarkson's face and the off-road-focused Nomad. But back in 2017, Ariel surprised the auto industry when the company announced plans to build an electrified hypercar known as the Hipercar, which stands for High Performance Carbon Reduction.
A concept was shown back in 2017 but Ariel has been tight-lipped about the project ever since. However, company boss Simon Saunders has confirmed to CarBuzz the final project will be unveiled later this year.
Ariel's Hipercar is a partly UK grant-funded project with Innovate UK and the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which is "taking the car to production readiness". According to Saunders, this stage of the project ends in October and Ariel will be "showing vehicles in various forms" in fall 2020.
"From our original launch of the car and initial testing, we have moved to Generation 2 design for chassis, motors, battery and control systems," Saunders tells us, adding that "power has increased and weight has decreased" since the original concept.
That's quite an achievement considering the original Hipercar concept produces 1,180 horsepower and 1,330 lb-ft of torque from a revolutionary turbine range extender powertrain.
The setup comprises of four motors sending 295 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque to each wheel, a centrally-mounted 42 kWh, lithium-ion battery, and a 35 kW micro-turbine range extender. The Ariel Atom, on the other hand, uses the same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine as a Honda Civic Type R.
Saunders also tells us the production Hipercar's appearance is "in line with what we previously hinted at" but "a great deal of work has been done on aerodynamics, air flow for cooling and the interior cabin. Currently, the mule cars, drive train, range extender and control systems are undergoing durability and various other testing at vehicle and component level."
"We still have a great deal of detail work to carry out as well as vehicle testing and the complexities of an all new, range extended EV are not to be under-estimated," said Saunders.