The X1 prototype is a concept car, and a test platform. It is not a production car, and never will be. It’s a proof-of-concept vehicle that will lead to a production car in the future.
To build it as a prototype, we looked for the best of the best, in today’s technology. We chose the AC Propulsion (www.acpropulsion.com) 3-phase AC induction motor and inverter – the highest power/weight ratio system available; brilliantly engineered, and with about a decade of durability testing to date. For the chassis, we turned to Ariel, in Somerset. (www.arielmotor.co.uk). Simon Saunders, the designer of the Atom and the founder and CEO of Ariel, has created in our view one of the world’s most beautiful cars, as well as the quickest, lightest chassis on the road. To drive it is a revelation. Simon’s background is in automotive design, notably for Aston Martin and Porsche. The Atom chassis was substantially modified for the electric drive train, but retains the original styling.
The X1 prototype is just the beginning. It meets its design specs of 0-60 in 3 seconds, 170 mpg equivalent; and at 1536 lbs, is only 36 lbs over the design target of 1500. It really does raise the performance driving experience to a new level, even for racing drivers. No clutch, no shifting, precise and immediate control of torque in drive and braking, perfect traction control…first gear takes you to 112mph…
So instead of not being able to pass a gas station, an issue most fast cars have today, this thing will be unable to pass by an electric outlet. Still, it is no Koenigsegg CCR.