“Ariel”: a hybrid car that doesn’t seem to make sense, but is part of an experiment

It looks like a car for a Mad Max-type movie and that’s how they present it, in a junk car that is going to be destroyed, but the image has another meaning, and it is that of an idea that replaces current technology

The pandemic stopped some projects, while others were only delayed for a while. Even today, after the world has been recovering a certain normality for more than a year, stories continue to appear from both sides, from those who were able to achieve them and from those who fell by the wayside.

The English motorcycle factory Ariel had started in 2017 a completely innovative development of a high-performance car with a different mode to the conventional one, even for handcrafted vehicles as in this case.

They call him Ariel Hypercarand it is not a spelling error that was written with “i” instead of “y”, rather it is a play on words that put the current concept of super-powerful automobiles associated from one acronym to another meaning. Hypercar was short for “High Performance Carbon Reduction”.

An unusual amount of wings and air vents show off an unconventional bodywork full of aerodynamic steps.  Each one has an explanation for performance and cooling
An unusual amount of wings and air vents show off an unconventional bodywork full of aerodynamic steps. Each one has an explanation for performance and cooling

It was about a hybrid gas-electric powertrain, which was built around a small turbine that sent electricity to a lithium-ion battery pack to then power the electric motors in the wheels. Those motors were two Equipmake inboard radial APMs installed on the rear axle, one for each wheel. Each engine produced 295 hp with 450 Nm of torque.which brought the final values ​​to 590 hp and 900 Nm respectively.

The brake of the pandemic allowed the concept to evolve so much that it is now presented with a four-wheel drive version and naturally 4 electric motors at the rate of one per wheel. The power was multiplied by two and then the vehicle in its most advanced version allows to have a nominal power of 1,180 hp and a torque of 1,800 Nm.

Manufacturers claim that It has a range of 240 kilometers or about 20 minutes on a closed racing circuit.but add a range extender consisting of a miniature turbine produced by Cosworth, that produces others 47 extra hp and can run on conventional fuel, racing fuel and even synthetic fuel.

The aerodynamic treatment is complex, but in addition to so many shapes in the upper part, it has four bulky diffusers under the floor
The aerodynamic treatment is complex, but in addition to so many shapes in the upper part, it has four bulky diffusers under the floor

The vehicle is a CNC folded and laser cut aluminum frame, which is joined by aluminum subframes at the front and rear. It has independent Bilstein suspension. The roll is 265/35/R20 in the front and 325/30/R20 In the back. Brakes are 14.5-inch discs with six-piston AP Racing calipers at the front and 12.9-inch four-piston calipers at the rear. through a switch, the driver decides to activate or deactivate the energy regenerative braking.

The shape is somewhat strange and does not have clean curves but rather something complex to understand. It is built with 3D-printed panels on this model, although the production car will have those elements built entirely from carbon fiber. The dual-plane spoiler at the front adds more downforce than a conventional spitter, the diverters above the front fenders send air past the side mirrors, and the roof scoop sends air to the microturbine. Two side fins and a central dorsal fin at the rear give it greater stability at high speeds., in addition to two voluminous diffusers on the floor. Some of these attachments are similar to the McMurtry Speirling seen this year in Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Rear engine, visible cooling and turbine that increases power on demand
Rear engine, visible cooling and turbine that increases power on demand

The big question that many ask themselves is the reason for the existence of this particular type of vehicle. In fact, much of the funding for the project comes from official british government fundswhich has earmarked a significant amount of money to promote the development of electric vehiclesthus trying to contribute to achieving its goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2050.

and although the Ariel, like the McMurtry will not be vehicles for the streets but rather to break speed records, It is considered an extreme within the possible developments with this technology. The tests and results that are obtained from this type of project are simply samples of the scope that, in different ways, investing in experiences can have, even if they seem remote or crazy.

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