Holden celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first win at Australia's Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst with the release of a 1,341-horsepower electric vehicle concept that it said is capable of obliterating the track's overall lap record.
Named the Time Attack Concept by Holden, design of the vehicle was split between Holden's styling and engineering departments. The result is a low-slung single-seater with extreme aerodynamics and an electric powertrain to rival that of the Tesla Roadster.
"Automotive design and engineering remains a core strength and competitive advantage for Holden and for Australia," stated Richard Ferlazzo, Holden's design director, in the company's press release. "The Time Attack Concept racer is an illustration of how we can utilize cutting-edge technology to develop transportation solutions for the future. You can see from the extremely detailed approach to incorporating the advanced technology in our Time Attack Concept racer that this is more than just a visual exercise."
Ferlazzo added, "Holden's recent announcement of the expansion of 150 new engineers to our Advanced Vehicle Development team means we have the talent, resources and technology to continue delivering to that charter.”
Holden says the TAC uses a quartet of inboard-mounted permanent magnet electric motors, each generating 250 kilowatts (335 horsepower) and 810 newton-meters (597 pound-feet) of torque. All use stressed-member three-speed automatic transmissions to connect to individual wheels for all-wheel drive. Combine them all and you get 1,341 horsepower and 4,393 pound-feet of torque. Including torque multiplication in the 2.97:1 first gear. You can also get 7,095 pound-feet of torque at launch, which Holden says is good for zero-to-60 in 1.25 seconds.
Each 18-inch wheel is made from carbon composites, and mounts a 310/70 slick racing tire. Their grip is boosted by four ground effect-generating venturi tunnels, a cartoonish diffuser, and fans that suck air from underneath the car. A hydraulically-controlled rear wing can blend into the bodywork, perk up to generate downforce, or act as a full air brake to augment the car's braking. Regenerative braking alone can generate 2.0 gravitational forces of deceleration, and carbon-carbon disc brakes with active brake ducting contribute to a maximum braking force of 6 G-forces. Lateral acceleration in corners can reach as high as 6.5 G-forces.
Powering all this is a graphene battery capable of one megawatt of power output and 90 Megajoules (25 kilowatt-hours) of storage—relatively small to keep weight down for the sake of the vehicle's purpose as a time attack race car. Recharging is achievable in 90 seconds with a one-megawatt charger at 800 volts and 1,250 amperes.
The last time we heard promises of performance this fantastic was at the Tesla Roadster's surprise debut in November of 2017, where Tesla CEO Elon Musk laid down performance figures that sounded impossible. According to Christian von Koenigsegg of the eponymous hypercar manufacturer, the Tesla Roadster's performance is absolutely possible, meaning that the performance capabilities of the comparable Holden Time Attack Concept may actually be more reality than fantasy.
Holden simulated a trip by the TAC around Mount Panorama Circuit, coming away with an estimated lap time of 1:29.3. For reference, that's 19.58 seconds faster than the circuit's unofficial lap record, set by Jenson Button in a McLaren Formula 1 car. If you want to see how the Holden TAC would perform, just set the video of Jenson's lap below to play at 1.25 times normal speed, and turn your volume off.