Atom's electric performance
27 September 2006

We've never thought of the Ariel Atom as being slow, but this one has the capability to blow away any road-going Ferrari, and it’s powered by electricity.

The X1 has been built by Ian Wright, an engineer from California, and its secret is a massive electric motor in place of the Atom’s standard 2.0-litre Honda engine. Wright claims the X1 will crack 0-60mph in 3sec, return the equivalent of 170mpg and has a range of 100 miles.

It uses a compact three-phase AC electric motor, powered by 243kg of lithium-ion batteries. It produces the equivalent of 236bhp and 182lb ft of torque – one heck of a lot for a car that weighs just 697kg.

The X1 is just a prototype – the batteries alone cost £21,000 - but Wright intends to develop a full production version of the car, which he reckons would cost around £52,000.

View some YouTube footage of the car - and an interview with its creator, Ian Wright, here:

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