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British Tesla rival

JJAD P1-E is Britain's impressive electric answer to the Tesla Roadster

The Tesla Roadster could be getting a distinctly British rival. The P1-E is the creation of former McLaren designer Jim Dowle, and the numbers behind it are pretty enthusiastic.

The pair of electric motors produce a monster 590lb ft and the equivalent of 389bhp, with four-wheel drive reining all the power in to help the car hit 60mph in a claimed 2.9sec and onto a 130mph top speed. The range of the 1055kg P1-E is said to be 230 miles.

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The two motors sit at either end of the chassis, and are powered by high-tech lithium ion batteries. There’s regenerative braking on each wheel to garner more energy and top up the batteries.

Dowle, who worked on the McLaren F1, is keen to make the P1-E major on handling and provide stern sports car competition for the Tesla rather than a simple like-for-like rival. The battery positioning is designed for ideal weight distribution and a low centre of gravity while there’s long wishbones front and rear for ideal suspension geometry.

According to Dowle, ‘We decided it was time to create an affordable electric sports car that combined the advantages of conventionally-engined machines with those of electric ones, without the disadvantages of either – in short, a drivers’ car for the 21st century.’

The plans are to get a prototype up and running during 2009, with annual sales of 500 projected for the car’s 2012 launch. Prices are forecast at £55,000, making it around half the cost of the new 288bhp Tesla Roadster Sport which is expected to cost around £106K.

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