Independent British manufacturer the Lightning Car Company has announced an all-electric supercar. The Lightning GT boasts 700-plus bhp, 0-60mph in under 4sec and a top speed of over 130mph.
An earlier Lightning was first seen at the 1999 motor show with a Mustang Cobra V8, but that has long gone. The new car's ‘nanotechnology’ batteries are said to have a 12-year lifespan and offer up to 15,000 recharges. LCC claims that these nano titanate power cells take just 10 minutes to charge from flat – if there’s some industrial three-phase power to hand (slightly longer if you’re using domestic mains).
A full charge should enable a range of 125 miles, or 250 miles in the bigger-battery model.
Transmission is via a 120kW Hi-Pa Drive motor in each wheel, with switchable two- or four-wheel drive on demand. Integrated electronics take care of traction control and the disc-free regenerative braking that turns the motors into generators on deceleration, recharging the cells. Max power is theoretically available at any speed, and a mind-boggling 2200lb ft of torque from standstill.
The GT weighs just 1350kg thanks to a Kevlar body and a carbonfibre/aluminium honeycomb chassis. Despite all the electronic gubbins in the wheel assemblies, the unsprung mass is similar to a conventional car’s due to the lack of a brake assembly or driveshaft.
The GT will avoid road tax, congestion charges and, of course, petrol prices, and the company estimates it will cost just 2.2p per mile. That should help soften the blow of the £150,000 list price… First deliveries are due in 2008. For more info, visit lightningcarcompany.co.uk
Wednesday 18th July 2007, 11:01 AM