Work on the battery-powered Lightning GT sports car is now focused on the production of two development mules by April 2009, the four-man team behind the car has announced.
The Lightning GT test cars will allow a period of testing and development next spring - proving of motors, batteries, chassis and electrical control systems - to be completed in time for deliveries in early 2010.
Lightning GT - Britain’s first electric supercar?
The Lightning GT stands to break the mould for electric cars because it will be powered by four independent ‘in-wheel’ electric motors, rather than one centrally mounted unit.
Supplied by British firm PML Flightlink, the four 160bhp Hi-Pa motors in the Lightning GT have more than 500lb ft of torque each. Because they’re mounted in every wheel, they serve as both engine and drivetrain for the car, removing the need for a conventional transmission.
The motors will also be capable of slowing the car, but for safety reasons, the Lightning GT will also have convention brake discs and calipers. This presents a big challenge to the Lightning GT's chassis tuners, as there's more unsprung mass than in a conventional sports car. The electric motor alone weighs 25kg.