Ariel unveiling gasoline-electric Hipercar turbine hybrid in 2020

Ronan Glon



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England-based Ariel got our undivided attention when it announced plans to enter the electrified hypercar segment in 2017. The company hasn’t said much about the aptly-named Hipercar project in the past three years, though it remains ongoing, and it told us it will reveal what it’s accomplished since then by the end of 2020.

"You can expect something later in the year, before the Low Carbon Vehicle Show," a company spokesperson revealed to Autoblog. The annual event is scheduled to open its doors on September 9 in Millbrook, England. It’s where the original Hipercar broke cover as a bare chassis without a body covering its underpinnings.

Sketches released by Ariel in 2017 (pictured) depicted a wide, low-slung supercar with extreme aerodynamic add-ons; it looked nothing like the Atom. An aluminum platform helped keep the powertrain’s weight in check.

“Certain things will have changed,” the spokesperson warned without providing additional details.

For context, the concept unveiled in 2017 used an innovative gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain built around a turbine that sent the electricity it generated to in-wheel motors via a lithium-ion battery pack. Ariel quoted an output of 1,180 horsepower and 1,330 pound-feet of torque when using four motors, or 590 horsepower and 665 pound-feet of torque with two motors (and, consequently, two-wheel drive). The Hipercar was capable of reaching 60 mph from a stop in 2.4 seconds in its quickest configuration, a figure which put it in elite company.

Ariel originally planned to reveal the Hipercar in 2019. The representative we contacted couldn’t shed light on the nature of the delay, though keep in mind we're talking about a small company bringing a stupendously complicated car developed on a blank slate to market. Pricing and availability remain unknown, too, but we expect the British firm will share more information about its next model in the weeks leading up to its unveiling.

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