Lightning GT: Britain’s 640bhp electric GT
Battery-powered lightning promises 0-60mph in 4sec and ten-minute recharges
This looks like a particularly neatly executed GT car – which is exactly what it is, aside from the fact there’s no engine under that long, power-bulged bonnet.
Instead, the Lightning is propelled directly by its own wheels, using four in-wheel electric motors that provide the braking (regenerative, of course) as well as the acceleration. Developed by a British firm, PML Flightlink, each motor delivers over 160bhp with power coming from a team of 30 NanoSafe batteries. These use a new type of lithium-ion technology that replaces graphite with a titanite-based material to make them more thermally stable.
The batteries, housed low under the bonnet to keep the centre of gravity down, can be fast-charged in as little as ten minutes given the right three-phase industrial power supply. More meaningful to us, though, is the Lightning’s claimed performance. Lightning Car Company MD Chris Dell told us, ‘We’re aiming for 0-60mph in around four seconds and a max of 130mph. The car shouldn’t weigh any more than an equivalent V8… we’re aiming for 1450kg, there or thereabouts.’ The batteries themselves weigh around 400kg and should provide a 180-mile range.
Lightning hopes to have the car on sale in the UK late next year for around £120,000, but according to Dell, ‘The car will undergo rigorous prototyping and testing until we’re happy. We don’t want trim falling off five years down the line.’ Also noteworthy are Lightning’s ambitious aims. ‘The US is a key market for us,’ admits Dell, and the firm is currently investing heavily in engineering in order to be able to sell the car throughout Europe and America.
You do wonder how a tiny company can bring something this promising-sounding to market when the major car makers are still at the research stage. Whatever, the Lightning looks to have struck at just the right time.