Five years ago, British carmaker, Ariel, announced they were bored of making cars out of scaffolding and that they were going to try their hand at developing a performance car with body panels, too. Not just any performance car, either, but an all-electric hypercar with well over one thousand horsepower and an optional turbine range extender.
The numbers are staggering: in all-wheel drive guise*—complete with 880kW (1180bhp) and 1800Nm (1327 ft-lb)—Ariel claims it will rocket from naught to 100km/h (62mph) in near-as-makes-no-difference two seconds and pass 160km/h (100mph) in under four. The company is also targeting a kerb weight of less than 1500kg. Ambitious.
Ariel recently unveiled their first production-intent prototype as a sort of rolling technical showcase and it is, well, grotesque.
Looking for all the world like a Halloween pumpkin that was carved by a blind man, the Hipercar (yes, that’s its official name) has a face not even a mother could love. The rest of the car, with its winglets and assortment of vents and slashes, isn’t exactly beautiful either. You get the sense they put a clay model into a blender for ten seconds and then honed the details using a wind tunnel.
Suddenly, Ariel’s decision to produce cars without panels makes a heck of a lot more sense.
*There will also be a limp-wristed rear-wheel drive model available with a paltry 440kW (590bhp) and 900Nm (664ft-lb). Pathetic.