January 28 2009 From the country with more cottage industry sports car manufactures per capita than anywhere else in the world, the British are at it again. No sooner has the much publicized British Lightning GT - an all electric Aston Martin look-a-like with four wheel motors - vanished from sight following wheel motor manufactures PML flight link being put into administration, another previously unknown British sports car hopeful has announced an all electric sports car.
Former McLaren employee Jim Dowle whose company JJAD first released details about his P1 sports car in February 2008 has now announced the P1-E. The P1 was originally conceived as a 200hp 870 kg petrol powered challenger to the Lotus Exige but Dowle has obviously seen the writing on the wall and the P1 has now been reincarnated as an All Wheel Drive battery electric sports car. Technical details are still minimal as the press release only includes a headline grabbing, McLaren F1 beating projected 0-62 mph (100 kmh) time of 2.9 seconds, a total weight of 1055 kg (2325 lbs) a top speed of 130mph (208 kmh) and a range of 230 miles (368 kms).
400 hp EV
The P1-E will use a four-wheel-drive system to harness a claimed 590 ft/lb (800 Nm) of torque developed by two electric motors at either end of the chassis, with combined output for the twin motors expected to be 290 Kw (395 hp). The announced range is very similar to that of the Tesla Roadster so will require a similarly heavy 53Kw/hr li-ion battery pack with a gross weight around 318 kg (700 lbs). To achieve the specified weight of 1055kg the body will be made of lightweight composite panels over a carbon-fibre and aluminum tub.
All Wheel Drive
The all wheel drive layout should allow the P1-E to be the first EV sports car to maximize brake regeneration, but as it will have a front and rear motor, torque will not be adjustable independently at all four corners as it might be with wheel motors.
A prototype should be rolling later this year with hopes that low volume production of 500 a year can begin in 2012. A price of £55,000 (USD$78,000) has been announced but it’s probably a little early to call that anything more than a target price.