Lightning GT - New UK Electric Sport Car
A UK car company is introducing an all-electric luxury sportscar powered by by electric motors. The Lightning Car Company (LCC) is targeting a range for its Lightning GT models of approximately 250 miles and a top speed of 130 mph or 150 mph.
The Lightning Car Company GT is powered by four, hub mounted electric motors claimed to produce at least 700bhp in total. Each motor has a maximum torque rating at the wheel of 553lb ft, available virtually from zero rpm.
The firm is aiming to produce three models: the regular ‘GT’; the lighter ‘GTS’ version that should do 0-60mph in under 4 seconds, and the longer range ‘GTSE’ said to do over 250 miles. Recharging the Lightning takes just 10 minutes.
The Lightning is said to achieve this impressive level of durability thanks to its cutting edge battery technology and systems.
It uses Nanosafe batteries from Altairnano Inc which have been in development since the start of the decade. The batteries use nano titanate materials instead of graphite which, the makers claim, makes them far more thermally stable - there are no toxics or heavy metals used in them.
The car uses four 120 kW Hi-Pa HPD40 electric wheel motors from PML Flightlink. The Hi-Pa Drive unit combines the motor and drive electronics in a single package. The units offer full regenerative braking down to very low speed, full holding torque at zero speed, a built-in brake resistor (for full charge regeneration situation), and a wide speed range.
Each HPD40 drive unit offers maximum torque of 750 Nm (533 lb-ft). The torque curve is relatively flat, dropping off to around 600Nm at top speed.
Despite the cutting edge technology contained inside, the Lightning utilises a ‘1960’s British GT- esque’ shape. The car has been in very low series production recently with a Mustang Cobra V8 motor, but the final petrol-powered Lightning is being finished at the moment, and the company will concentrate on electric power from now on.
The chassis is a monocoque structure made from aluminium honeycomb sections with a carbon fibre body assembled around it at the same time. The suspension is hung from tubular structures attached to the main body.
The GT is a big car at nearly 4.5m long and around 2m wide. Nevertheless, the firm claims a kerbweight of around 1350kg.
Lightning are aiming to have the first car ready for evaluation at the end of the year with customer orders being taken for 2008. Not much word on prices yet, but expect a top of the range GTSE to cost circa £150,000 – about US$296,000.
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