Ariel, the UK company behind the beloved Atom and Nomad, is building something crazy. that this tiny automaker is developing a four-wheel drive electric hypercar with a turbine range extender. The car, codenamed P40, is set to go into production in 2020 and will have a 0-100 mph time of just 3.8 seconds.
Rendering above used with permission from Autocar magazine.
Ariel told Autocar that it believes this will be the quickest-accelerating supercar in ever built. To put its targeted 3.8-second 0-100 mph run into perspective, a LaFerrari—the quickest car R&T has ever tested—takes 4.7 seconds to do the same.
The P40 will also run 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds, 0-150 mph in 7.8 seconds, and on to a 160-mph top speed. It's electric powertrain, per Autocar, is good for 1180 bhp and 1328 lb-ft of torque. As with the 1224-hp Rimac Concept One, each wheel will get its own electric motor, which allows for advanced torque-vectoring capabilities.
Unlike the Rimac, the Ariel P40 will get a turbine range-extender mounted on top of its two rear electric motors. Each of its electric motors makes 295 bhp and are powered by a 42kWh battery. The P40's electric range is estimated to be 100-120 miles before the range-extender kicks in, and Ariel says it should be able to run flat-out on track for 15 minutes.
Top Gear magazine's Ollie Marriage also reports that the P40 will use some sort of fan suction device to give it ground-effect aerodynamics. That sounds somewhat like the legendary Chaparral 2J "fan car."
Ariel is also considering a rear-wheel drive version of the P40 powered by a 56kWh battery. The P40 uses an aluminum monocoque chassis, with body panels made from carbon fiber. Weight is expected to be around 3500 lbs (1600 kg).
"We’re building tomorrow’s aspirational car using our small-company agility to beat the big companies," Ariel boss Steve Saunders told Autocar. "We love the Ariels we make now, but we know we have to embrace new technology. If we don’t, in 20 years we’ll be making antiques, and we could even be legislated out of existence."
Ariel is expected to reveal more info on the P40 later this month, though its development isn't quite finished. We also don't know whether it'll come to the US. It'll have to contend with the aforementioned Rimac, but also Aston Martin and Red Bull's Valkyrie and the F1-powered Mercedes-AMG Project One.