Ariel is no stranger to producing cars that will quite literally rip your face off they are so fast. Even the “base” model nearly did just that when Jeremy Clarkson did his famous review of the Atom back in the old days of Top Gear, and it “only” had approximately 300hp. Then the UK based boutique car manufacturer stepped it up a few notches when they created the Atom V8 with its one of a kind custom motor that churned out a staggering 500hp. The acceleration of the Atom V8 is arguably the most ferocious in the automotive world. Not only does it only need 2.5 seconds to hit 60mph, but even more impressively it can go from 0-100mph in just over 5 seconds. As amazing as that might be, Ariel thinks they can do better and apparently they plan on proving it according to the rumors flying around about a new electric hypercar in the works.
It’s currently referred to by the code name of P40, and while the details are still scarce at this point, Autocar managed to get a few juicy tidbits about the car and let’s just say it’s going to be an attention-grabber. Apparently, Ariel wanted to start looking into the technology of the future and they quickly came to the conclusion that an electric car was the way to go.
It’s still in the developmental stage, but the P40 is projected to have an estimated total of 1,200hp thanks to an electric motor at all four wheels, just like you see in the Rimac Concept One. Yes, that means it’ll be an all wheel drive setup. With all that traction and the monstrous amount of instant torque provided by the electric motors, this car is going to be fast, really damn fast. I’m talking fast enough to make the Atom V8 look like a Volkswagen Beetle. Ariel claims they are shooting for a 0-100mph run that’ll take just 3.8 seconds, almost two full seconds quicker than the 500hp Atom V8 and a full second quicker than a Ferrari LaFerrari. Notice I said 0-100, not 0-60mph, and still, the goal is 3.8 seconds. For the record, that is faster than most performance cars can reach 60mph.
Ariel plans to do things a bit differently with the P40. First, it’ll be a fully enclosed cabin rather than the minimalist way of doing things where you can look down and see the steering and suspension systems working because there are no body panels to shield them. They also plan on using an all aluminum monocoque chassis which should help keep the weight to a minimum.
The P40 appears to be more of a “car” rather than an extreme track toy like the Atom and Nomad. While the flagship car will be the all wheel drive version, they do plan on making a rear wheel drive only model as well. As far as the range of the P40, it’s claimed to be anywhere from 100-200 miles, or 15 minutes flat out on the track. Not the greatest, but not the worst either. There are two things that might set the P40 apart from the rest, other than the lightning fast acceleration of course. First thing is what they are calling a “turbine range extender” and apparently it’s attached to the motors at the rear wheels and should make a noticeable difference. The second thing doesn’t really have a name that I could find as of yet, but it’s basically an active aero system that uses a fan to create suction and therefore a lot of downforce to keep the car planted during those wicked acceleration runs.
Ariel is making some bold claims about the P40 and personally, I think if they can back up those claims we could be seeing one of the fastest accelerating hypercars in the world. Based on their current track record, and the lineup of cars already to their credit, I have no doubt in my mind that Ariel has the potential to make the P40 and have it back up each and every claim. More information is scheduled to drop later this year, and production is rumored to commence by 2019. Which if it does come out around then, it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against what I feel to be the next level in automotive performance with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, AMG Project One, and McLaren BP23. Only time will tell, and time’s a ticking.