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Ian Wright is a name familiar to many electric car enthusiasts as the man who turned an Ariel Atom into the Ferrari-beating Wrightspeed X1 prototype. It's been a while since we've heard from Mr. Wright, who has been working on engineering a hybrid system for heavy duty pick-up trucks, but now there is news from the former Kiwi. And if you are still disappointed Wrightspeed didn't bring the X1 to market, the news is good. According to Michael Kanellos over at greentechmedia, the builder of the world's quickest electric car wants to produce a conveyance that's even quicker, with a 0 to 60 mph target of 2.5 seconds.

You see, back when Wright was visiting different tracks embarrassing Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, it seemed there was one gas guzzler that still could best him, the infamous 1001hp Bugatti Veyron. The X1 came up about a half second short from 0-60 mph while his 0-100-0 time of 11.2 seconds was a full second and a two whiskers behind that of the W16-powered supercar. With luck, 18 months from now will see a newly-fashioned, battery-powered bolt of lightning, code-named the "SR-71", destroy the Bugatti, leaving in its wake only salty $1.4 million-dollar tears. To show he's not such a bad chap, Wright will then be able to turn those frowns upside-down by offering this new machine up for sale.

Though sanctioned tracks may be the only asphalt the first "SR-71"s will be licensed to circulate, thoroughly road-ready machines, quite possibly featuring enclosed cabins, will follow after an additional 18 months. Hit the jump to watch a few videos of the original creation, the Wrightspeed X1, take on all comers.







[Source: greenmediatech]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some people are stupid. Bash on this if you want, but the point is not the fact that a car CAN shed pounds etc. This is a purpose built car, that is great at what its meant for. This car was not INTENDED to have a windshield wipers etc. They aren't comparing the comfort. Do you see that anywhere? do you see where it says its better at long range traveling? No. They are saying it can go fast. Period. So quit bitching because it smoked those cars. Its flat out faster. And yes, its electric.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe the real reason he is after a 2.5sec 0-60 time is so he can beat the gas powered Atom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_Atom

      I've always laughed at his "demonstration" tests. Not one has been any test that a gearhead couldn't have called right after they named the contestants. The Atom beats all those cars before the EV conversion. The original Atom also beats the X1, so the EV conversion has actually slowed the car down despite all the hype. Kinda ironic that in his quest to prove that electric cars are faster, he has thus far proven the exact opposite.

      As far as range, the range claim made by Ian is in urban driving - ie: low speed where aero drag is extremely low. Not a chance that he goes over 100mi on a charge at higher speeds. What is the range at a steady 80mph? Additionally, I don't see that he has any regen capabilities so a 30min race on a racecourse would burn up a lot of electrons with the slowing for corners and such.

      My challenge would be to race to my parents house. It's 550 miles that I easily travel in under 8 hours using gasoline. If I were driving an Atom, that time would be a bit shorter...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting article . I LOVE THE BUGATTI VERYRON , what i do not like is its inability to shut down atleast half of its cylinders to get slightly better fuel economy even though a car with 16 cylinders will get garbage fuel economy anyway. But i would plant 200 trees to offset my carbon foot print just to drive that car for a day. That car is sooooo ridiculous .
      • 6 Years Ago
      And another thing - The Wrightspeed X1 is designed for fast cornering, and the average "family car" isn't. That means loosing even more distance on each turn on a typical race track.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's an impressive display, but not really fair to pit those particular Ferraris and Porsches against something purpose built for performance and performance alone when the other cars have to meet the requirements demanded of a normal road car (enclosed cockpit, windshield, the associated wipers, etc.). A Ferrari or Porsche that had shed any thoughts of comfort or convenience could put up a much stiffer fight.

      I was more impressed years ago at the tZero smoking 355's AND at least being reasonable for an extended drive as long as you could live without air conditioning (they offered a range extending trailer if I remember correctly).

      That said, it's very interesting that Tesla is getting some competition, and hopefully Wright will have a model on the street someday that helps further demonstrate that electric cars are viable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL. Tell them to do some tests with this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrari_F2007 . :°D
      • 6 Years Ago
      speed isn't the challenge with electrics, energy storage is. it takes 600lb of the best Lithium-Ion battery, costing over $20K, to hold the equivalent energy of just ONE gallon of gas (36KWh). and despite all the hype in the industry, this basic fact isn't going to change anytime soon.

      with electrics you can go fast, far or affordably - pick any two (at best).

      • 6 Years Ago
      In response to why not the LS2LS7?'s comment...

      Ever heard of top fuel drag racing?
      Kiiiinda the same idea.
      It's like comparing a top fuel drag racer to well.....anything.
      Something built entirely for straight line speed, compared to your average car that can actually turn around a corner.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @Blackbirdhighway:
      Thanks. Fixed.
      SR-71 is the code name (like Whitestar). I think it will be changed before production.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not that it matters, but the Veyron is a W16, quad-turbo monster, not a V16. It's like two V8s placed side by side and merged at the crankshaft. Kind of an interesting arrangement.

      Looks like a fun toy, I hope he doesn't get sued by Lockheed for naming it the SR-71 (!)
      • 6 Years Ago
      WOW, This is really cool stuff. Though ive seen this car many times before and it is DEFINATLY out dated news.

      Cool none the less.

      Samiam, where can i find more information on this vehicle, how about what company is going to invest in their technologies.

      Anyone know the SR-71's Range?
      Tesla is probably shaking in their boots after seeing this monster.
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