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This electric hypercar is shockingly fast

Stephen Ottley

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Wednesday 20th November, 2019 - 6:00am

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People used to think of electric cars as golf carts on steroids. The Aspark Owl is nothing like that.

The Japanese electric hypercar boasts some truly staggering number claims; 1480kW of power, 400km/h top speed, 450km of range and a 0-60mph (96km/h) of just 1.6secs. Yes, you read that right – just 1.6secs to get to nearly 100km/h. That’s faster than a Formula 1 car and even faster than Tesla’s claim for its upcoming new generation Roadster.

All this theoretical performance comes thanks to four electric motors that power the Owl, which produces that massive 1480kW output and 2000Nm of torque. That’s more than three-times the power for a Formula E car and actually twice as much as a modern F1 hybrid power unit.

To ensure it stops as quickly as it goes, it uses carbon ceramic brakes with massive 10-piston calipers up front.

The battery is a unique design for the Owl, shaped to fit as an integral part of the chassis, rather than a modular ‘skateboard’ battery pack, it allows the car to stand just 99cm tall – that’s lower than a Ford GT40.

A key to its acceleration and overall performance is Aspark’s reliance on carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for much of the chassis and bodywork. This lightweight material is used for the racing car-style central monocoque, from which all the other structures of the car is mounted. Stainless steel is used for the roof framework but the roof itself is CFRP, as is most of the body.

Even so, four electric motors and a 64kWh lithium-ion battery pack add up, so the Owl tips the scales at a sizeable 1900kg; by contrast the hybrid Ferrari LaFerrari weighs 1250kg.

While it has been designed in Japan the Aspark Owl will be built by Italian production specialists Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT) beginning in the second quarter of 2020. MAT is no stranger to building special cars, it’s the same company that produced the stunning modern take on the Lancia Stratos.

Only 50 examples of the car will be built and they will start at an eye-watering €2.9m – that’s $4.7m in local currency.

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