Click above for hi-res version of the Bee.four
What better way for a young British automotive company to gain recognition for itself and demonstrate its engineering prowess than to enter a revolutionary vehicle into one of the oldest of motorsports, hillclimbing? Perhaps none. And so it is that heretofore unknown Bee Automobiles will be contesting the 2009 British Hillclimb Championship with the Bee.four ERV in the "unlimited class." Before you start with the skepticism and the humming of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," please note that the single-seater electric race car has been designed by Lotus Formula 1 notable, Martin Ogilvie, and will be driven by two-time British Hillclimb Champion Graeme Wight Jr. One might also note that Wight finished off the '08 season with a win in V10 powered "Predator" also designed by Ogilvie. Details about this new car are still quite slim, though it is said that it will feature one motor per wheel to give it a total of 700 bhp and will begin testing at MIRA facilities in early 2009. This bhp number is suspiciously reminiscent of the figure given for another fast future-car, the Lightning GT, and we wonder aloud if it will also feature the in-wheel Hi-Pa Drive™ motor from PML Flightlink.
If the initial plans of the fledgling company seem high-reaching, its future aspirations are far more ambitious. According to their website, Bee Automobiles not only has a reasonable electric four-seater, called the Bee.one, on their drawing board but also an exotic-looking road-going Tesla-Roadster-beating two-seater version of their race car, the Bee.four, in the works. If they can actually achieve a sub 3 second 0-to-60 time with their gas-free roadster, they could hold the car-to-beat standard for some years. The official announcement of the Bee.one and Bee.four is expected to occur during the 2009 edition of the Geneva Auto Show in March.