News surfaced this week of a new supercar project planned by British manufacturer Ariel. The news centres on a four-wheel-drive electric two-seater currently in development which, if rumours are correct, might eventually manage 0 to 100 mph in just 3.8 seconds!

The project is currently codenamed P40 is a three-partner, three-year project supported by £2 million of funding from the British government. Ariel developed the body, chassis and suspension while Delta Motorsport provide expertise for the battery, range extender and electronics and Equipmake supplied the electric motors, gearboxes and electronics.

Unpinning the Ariel Supercar will be an aluminium monocoque using folded aluminium sheet, riveted and bonded to form a monocoque tub. The final design is still being worked upon, although the monocoque appears to be in the advanced stages of development. The entire package is said to weigh in at 1,600kg.

The Ariel Supercar will use four separate electric motors, each producing 295bhp. Coupled to each will be a 42kWh liquid-cooled battery mounted at the car’s base. A revolutionary turbine range extender will sits above the two rear motors producing sufficient power to maintain performance once the initial 100-120 miles of electric range runs out.

Although track performance isn’t a top priority for the project, Ariel reckon it will be good for around 15 minutes of flat-out performance before requiring around 50 minutes of fast-charging.

The flagship four wheel drive version will feature maximum power of 1,180bhp, with a torque peak of 1328lb ft. 0 to 60 mph should take 2.4 seconds with 0 to 150 mph acceleration times of 7.8sec respectively. Top speed will be restricted to 160 mph. It seems likely that there will also be a two-wheel-drive model with a 56kWh battery.

The chassis and powertrain are likely to be revealed next month with the production version expected to be finished in time for 2019.

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