Automotive

$3-million Aspark electric hypercar sets fire to acceleration records

$3-million Aspark electric hy...
Aspark allows for easy ingress/egress with its falcon wing doors
Aspark allows for easy ingress/egress with its falcon wing doors
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The Aspark Owl isn't the prettiest of all hypercars, but it's memorable thanks to the inward slanting hood and high-arched fenders
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The Aspark Owl isn't the prettiest of all hypercars, but it's memorable thanks to the inward slanting hood and high-arched fenders
Aspark allows for easy ingress/egress with its falcon wing doors
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Aspark allows for easy ingress/egress with its falcon wing doors
The Aspark has 20-in front and 21-in rear wheels
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The Aspark has 20-in front and 21-in rear wheels
At just 993 mm (3.2 feet) high, and with as little as
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At just 993 mm (3.2 ft) high, and with as little as 80 mm (3 in) of ground clearance, the Owl is an exceptionally low car
The active wing can be deployed automatically or manually
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The active wing can be deployed automatically or manually
The Owl has a thin rear-end highlighted by long strands of LED taillights
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The Owl has a thin rear-end highlighted by long strands of LED taillights
The wing pops up automatically once the Owl hits 150 km/h (93 mph)
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The wing pops up automatically once the Owl hits 150 km/h (93 mph)
The original prototype had louvres running up its rear spine, but the new model has a cleaner body-color panel
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The original prototype had louvres running up its rear spine, but the new model has a cleaner body-color panel
Just over two years after its prototype debut, Aspark revealed the production Owl at the 2019 Dubai Motor Show
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Just over two years after its prototype debut, Aspark revealed the production Owl at the 2019 Dubai Motor Show
Aspark accelerated its development timeframe to get the Owl ready for this week's debut
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Aspark accelerated its development timeframe to get the Owl ready for this week's debut
Aston's carbon fiber bodywork is draped over a carbon monocoque
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Aston's carbon fiber bodywork is draped over a carbon monocoque
Aspark's four motors team for nearly 2,000 hp, putting the Owl second on our list of world's most powerful production cars
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Aspark's four motors team for nearly 2,000 hp, putting the Owl second on our list of world's most powerful production cars
The double-wishbone hydraulic suspension can adjust ride height among three settings
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The double-wishbone hydraulic suspension can adjust ride height among three settings
Aspark Owl sketch
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Aspark Owl sketch
In the driver's seat
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In the driver's seat

Shortly after debuting at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Aspark Owl prototype scorched the path from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 1.89 seconds, setting itself up to be the quickest production car in the world. All it needed was to, you know, be produced. We move a step closer as the 1,985-hp production Owl debuted on Tuesday, bringing with it a US$3.1 million price tag and throwing in an even more impressive 1.69-second acceleration time, though that's 0-60 (96.5 km/h), not 62 mph. If that sounds worth a few measly mil, get in line quickly – only 50 will be built.

The Owl made its debut at the 2019 Dubai Motor Show, which really feels like the location for such an outrageous machine to roar out of hibernation. Making the production Owl that much more insane than the prototype is a series of four permanent magnet synchronous electric motors that creates the 1,985-horse stampede and provides 1,475 lb-ft (2,000 Nm) of torque to send the car flashing to its world's fastest acceleration. If we're to take Aspark at its word, the production Owl uses road-legal tires, along with a 1-ft (305-mm) rollout, for its 1.69-second time (the prototype used race tires for its 1.89-second run). Aspark doesn't say whether the 0-62 mph changes for the production car, but it does say drivers will enjoy a 10.6-second 0-186 mph (300 km/h) on the road to a 249-mph (400 km/h) top speed.

The Owl has a thin rear-end highlighted by long strands of LED taillights
The Owl has a thin rear-end highlighted by long strands of LED taillights

When it's not powering record-breaking performance laps, the 64-kWh lithium-ion battery integrated amidships within the carbon monocoque chassis structure uses its electrons more frugally toward powering the car for 280 miles (450 km, NEDC) of range, according to Aspark's estimates. The battery charges in roughly 80 minutes via a 44-kW charger.

Expect the Owl to nearly scrape bottom on all but the most even surfaces, as Aspark has set about making it one of the lowest-riding cars in the world with ride height automatically and manually adjustable between 80 and 160 mm (3.1 and 6.3 in) via three double-wishbone hydraulic suspension settings. Drivers can also select between sport-dynamic, rain-snow, city-comfort and high-boost driving modes. A torque vectoring system sharpens handling, and a variety of safety systems such as ABS, ESP, traction control and tire pressure monitoring combine to keep the car performing as designed.

The wing pops up automatically once the Owl hits 150 km/h (93 mph)
The wing pops up automatically once the Owl hits 150 km/h (93 mph)

The Owl's carbon fiber bodywork looks much the same as it did in 2017, with the exception of a few big changes, including the active rear wing that disappears seamlessly when speeds drop below 62 mph, the loss of the louvred rear deck, and the new side-view mirrors with cameras. The car still wears the odd dipped hood center outlined by boomerang headlamp-stamped bulges, which for better or worse, is the unique signature by which we'll continue to remember it. At under a meter (3.3 ft) tall, some owners might double it in height.

Inside the "falcon wings," Aspark keeps the focus on digital tech, moving some of the physical switches to the ceiling for a feel reminiscent of an aircraft cockpit. An infotainment screen and digital instruments serve up information, with the dashboard color scheme changing to match drive mode.

In the driver's seat
In the driver's seat

Aspark will build its 50 Owls in Italy in cooperation with Manifattura Automobili Torino, which is also behind the awesome resurrected Lancia Stratos. Each will be customized around the individual buyer's wants, which will undoubtedly drive average selling price well north of the €2.9 million (US$3.2 million) base. It plans to deliver the first in the second quarter of 2020.

Source: Aspark

10 comments
neoneuron
I can see the insurance rates, and deaths, going up as we speak. This thing is for a race track. Not a highway.
Jorel
Wow! But also, gimme a break. Least practical car I've seen in a LONG time - hopefully, some of that tech will trickle down to mere mortals... Fun, yes; impressive, yes; but look at that driving position! I'm sure we'll see some amusing videos of the swells in Dubai attempting to climb in and out in their dishdasha robes. And I imagine your date for the Academy Awards will not appreciate having to pull off that maneuver in their gown, either...
foxpup
Forget Ludacrous Speed. Forget going to Plaid. Time for the brown or rubber trousers.
Troublesh00ter
1.69 seconds to 60 mph is impressive ... which you will use exactly WHERE and HOW OFTEN before you have to replace your $1,000 a corner tires? Personally, I'll keep my 2016 Ford Mustang GT and be happy as a clam!
Jason Catterall
What's with the 1 foot roll out? So it's not actually going from zero to sixty then, but is already moving when the clock starts? Also, this performance is essentially the same as the new Tesla Roadster, but 15 times as expensive. That's a no from me then...
buzzclick
Wheels that can go faster than a Suzuki GSX-R1000? That's bold, And nuts. It will sell, especially to Middle East camel jockies. Personally It's ludicrous and whoever dishes out 3 million clams for this has too much money to play with. Don't like the rear end. It's plain and the tail lights bug me. I'm too poor buy it, but at least I can criticize it.
Spud Murphy
So, they are going to pull all of that power out of a 64kWh battery? There's a reason why the Tesla roadster has a 200kWh battery, and it's not just range. You can only draw so much power from a battery of a certain size before you risk damage. Assuming amazing efficiency, at full power it's pulling 1.5MW from the batts, or about a 23C discharge. You don't want to be doing that very often if you want your battery to last. And at that discharge rate you have just 2.5 mins of capacity! That quoted range is going to be unlikely as well, 140Wh/km for this sort of vehicle? Only if driven like a sick kitten. In short, that battery is way too small to be practical, this seems like a show pony only to me. Oh, and that rear end is just butt friggin' ugly.
christopher
They should put a huge, ugly, windshield wiper right in the middle of the passenger line-of-sight. Oh wait. They did.
Tony Morris
One foot roll-out eh? So the timer starts at the one foot mark, the car is already doing 6.5 mph, 10.44 kph and has taken 0.21 sec to get there. Hence the actual 0-60 mph time is 1.9 seconds.
Theodore41
Rimac 2 has 120KWh batteries.