• Nov 19, 2005

San Francisco TV station KRON 4 has a video that rates as a must-see for all you alternative fuel, performance car types. The video clip features a recent drag race at Infineon Raceway between the all-electric Wrightspeed X-1, a Ferrari 360 and a Porsche Carrera GT.

The minimalist X-1 is the product of Wrightspeed, Inc., Ian Wright's Silicon Valley startup "using clean technology to make very energy efficient cars that are also very fast." The X-1 prototype is a U.K.-built Ariel Atom (pictured), modified to use an electric power system from AC Propulsion instead of the Ariel's Honda iVTEC 4-cylinder powerplant.

While the X-1's performance is nowhere near the dino-fueled Atom's (0-100 mph in 6.86 seconds!), it was more than enough to leave the supercars in its dust.

[thanks for the tip, Vincent!]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Wow what an absolutely pointless test. Why not test a car against a motorcycle? Makes just as much sense.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Does anyone have an alternative link to the video? kron.com must be one of the shittiest excuses for a website that I have ever seen ... all that Javascript embedded in the page yet I still can't view the movie.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Uhm, I'd hate to point out the obvious, but a minimalist car with a big motor (electric or otherwise) against a full production car is hardly a competition. As far as I can see, this is just a self-serving look at me stunt that doesn't realy say anything other than, "if you strap a big motor to a lightweight chassis, you can make it accellerate really fast." The fact that the motor is electric is beside the point. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for alternative vehicles, but this is silly. A much fairer competition would be a pit this electric go-cart against a production superbike. I'm way out of date with my motorcycle specs, but 0-60 in around 10-11s is possible with a stock bike costing a tenth of the cost of the electric cart in this "test".
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is a lame test. It tests a purpose-built car against a street car. How about getting Speed TC car against this? Or a Grand Am Cup ST car? A race car is a lot different from a street car. You remove a lot of weight. You put on R compound tires. You re-gear that car so it may only do 125mph, but it gets out of corners quicker. You put in brakes and a gearbox that are harsh but last. For example, how long will this electric car run? figure that out, then take your race car and not only put in enough gas to run that distance (saves weight), but also modify the gas tank to only hold that much gas (saves more weight). Note to other poster, on the track, race cars are faster than motorcycles because motorcycles can't corner fast enough. But I understand the spirit of your post, you're right on here, and the article poster isn't. For another comparsion, try racing them for 30 minutes. The street car can do that, the race car can too. A Speed (SCCA) Touring Car race is 30 minues or so. Let's say it spends 50% of its time at wide-open-throttle, the rest braking or coasting. Let's say you want 200HP equivalent (low for the class, but electric has a broad torque band). 200HP = 120,000W. If you are at WOT 50% of the time, that's 60,000Watt-hours/hour. If you go a half-hour, that means you need 30,000Wh. Regerative braking wouldn't add a lot since whenever you brake harder than you can accelerate, it means all that extra braking is coming from the brakes, not the motor, and so it is lost energy. And race car drivers brake last minute and very hard. LIon has 200Wh/kg (from Wikipedia). That means you need 150kg (330lbs) of batteries. How's that going to affect your race car performance? The batteries will take up 60L in your trunk (that's not so bad actually). The cost of the battery bank would be north of $30,000. And if you tried to run a Grand Am Cup race for 3 hours, how would you refuel it? This is the same stuff as the T-Zero guys. They used a purpose-built car to mislead people about the real performance characteristics of electric cars. And I like electric cars. I just don't like misleading info on them.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you want a "real car", there is this: http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php
      • 9 Years Ago
      God that Porker sounds awesome!
      • 9 Years Ago
      how's it do on crash tests?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Oops, I ment the quarter mile in 10-11s, not 0-60 in 11secs. :)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Im with n8 on this one. In what way is this not a fair contest? The Wrightspeed is not much less practical as the two other cars. I bet the Carrera GT was trailered there and who else thinks the Ferrari has never seen a drop of rain? A Wrightspeed against a Ford Fusion would be unfair, but these two more expensive race cars for the street got it handed to them fair and square. I also agree Id rather have the Honda engine. Im a huge proponent of Solar power so you can say Im inclined towards green technology, but if an IC engine is definitively better then Im going with the IC engine. Im sure the Wrightspeed will continue to improve. If only battery capacity followed Moores law.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Of course the test is not fair but you are missing the point if that is all you see. They want to make people aware that the future will hold other choice for the performace minded person other than a conventional combustion engine.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Chilling in at least two ways: 1. Seeing the X-1 smoothly speed down the dragstrip at ungodly speeds. 2. Hearing the shrieks and roars from the Ferrari and Porsche. Perhaps the X-1 could be equipped with a lightweight but powerful surround sound system to match the beautiful cacophony coming from the conventionally fueled thoroughbreds.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree with the comment above, it's not about being an apples to apples test, it about the future possibilities...
    • Load More Comments