Britain's hi-tech, 400bhp DB9-sized Lightning GT is set for the next phase of its development
3 November 2010

Lightning, Britain’s DB9-sized, all-electric GT, is about to enter a “late prototype” phase and should be ready for 250-units-a-year production by spring 2012, according to its backer, Iain Sanderson.

The GT is intended to offer Aston and Bentley levels of pace and sophistication. It is expected to sell for £180,000.

Sanderson, a London-based marketing entrepreneur who has financed the project since its inception more than three years ago, says the project has been “de-risked” and is in ideal shape to attract the £15.5 million needed for the next two development stages. Last week finance specialist London Bridge Capital began approaching potential backers with formal proposals.

Read more on Lightning's future model plans

Sanderson hatched the idea for an electric GT nearly a decade ago after meeting the project’s technical director, Arthur Woolstenholme, at a motor show. Together, the pair have already revived the famous Vanwall racing marque.

Under the Lightning prototype plan, there will be a £3.5m preliminary phase, during which two running examples will be built to meet the dictates of the Technology Strategy Board (already a Lightning backer).

During the £12m phase that follows this, a series of road-ready prototypes will be built to probe and refine the car for its early customers, 15 of whom have already ordered cars.

Read more on the Lightning GT's official launch

Since unveiling the GT in 2007, Lightning has appointed a new CEO, Tim Martin. Under his guidance, the car has been comprehensively re-engineered.

The proposed in-wheel motors have been ditched for a twin-motor, rear-drive powertrain sourced from a big-name German manufacturer, soon to be revealed. Power is about 400bhp. The car is tipped for 0-60mph in well under 5.0sec, and it is said to have a range of more than 100 miles.

Technology partners for the chassis manufacture, for supply of latest-spec lithium titanate batteries (faster charging and more stable than lithium ion ones) and for data engineering and homologation have now been appointed.

Steve Cropley

Join the debate


3 November 2010

Well theyve got the styling right- its absolutely stunning. The proportions are spot on.

Pity about the 100 mile range though- most owners will have more than one car but as a "GT" & not an out & out sports car, people may well want to take it for a weekend away in Scotland or wherever, & that just won't be possible. If they could overcome the range problem they would definitely be onto a winner IMO. In fact I think Aston Martin should be trying to headhunt their stylist! (Im getting a bit bored of the same design in several different sizes! Aston Martin are starting to become the Audi of the sports car market...)

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

3 November 2010

Agree entirely about Aston Martin's styling, and the look of this one, but sadly also about the 100 miles range which makes a nonsense of any claim for it to be suited to touring....

3 November 2010

As already mentioned, unless someone quickly can up the range to a useable 300 miles or so, then it will be a no go for most people - the last thing I want to worry about if I am going out for a nice blast is will I be able to get home - I left those days behind me when I sold my first car, a Vauxhall vivia many many years ago!!

To live is to drive

3 November 2010

Seriously...can car companies please start getting serious about using proper terminology for batteries?

'Lithium ion' is a catch-all, it is not a specific cell chemistry.

Lithium titanate is a type of lithium ion battery, therefore it is unlikely that it charges faster than itself!

3 November 2010

I'll take a Tesla Model S and a Liberty Electric Range Rover, please...

3 November 2010

Shame it's so ugly.

3 November 2010

Until they can do three, four hundred miles on a charge and be charged in an hour these cars are like a broken pencil, pointless!.

Peter Cavellini.

3 November 2010

[quote Autocar]
Sanderson, a London-based marketing entrepreneur who has financed the project since its inception more than three years ago, says the project has been “de-risked”[/quote] Yes right. If this project has been "de-risked" does that mean no risks for the original financiers and developers of the car and all the risk will be on any new investors? There have always been people with ideas of making money using others money but not many succeed. Does this remind anyone of the last new Jensen that was "nearly" developed into a production car. Whilst you may find a market for a town runabout with a range of 100 miles I doubt someone looking to spend £180k on a high performance car would be impressed.

30 June 2013

Until they can do three, four hundred miles on a charge and be charged in an hour these cars are like a broken pencil, pointless!.

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