Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Weekend road warrior....
... a few weeks ago I saw a re-run Top Gear, it had an article where Hamster (yes, the one who crashed the jet-powered car) was driving an Ariel Atom (pictured right).
At the time I did some research, it all looked very nice - price OK(ish) at £35k, performance excellent at 0-60mph in 2.91 sec.! but, would I fit my 6'3" carcase into one? Don't know, so decided to put it in the pile of "Things to do". Ariel are only based in Crewkerne, about an hour West of where I live down the A303, so one day in the Spring when I'm next down their way, I will pop in & see it in the flesh.
Whilst browsing around today, I find an article on a car that takes a modified Ariel chassis, throws away the supercharged 2.0 litre Honda iVTEC 300bhp engine and replaces it with.... can you guess? A 3-phase, 236hp AC induction motor! I've always know that electric motors can deliver a great turn of speed, but the batteries required to power them are frankly shite. But it appears that Wrightspeed have developed a concept car - the X1, that delivers these great performance figures - 0-60 ~ 3.0 seconds (0.09 behind the petrol car), a top speed of 112mph (electronically limited) and a range >100 miles in urban use (sinking to ~25 miles if driven on a track day!), they promise better endurance in the production model.
Take a look at this video to get an idea of how good an idea this is, let's hope the creator - Ian Wright get's the X1 into production soon.