Arash AF10 Brings “Warp Drive,” 2,080-hp Hybrid to Geneva

Two seats, five motors, five gearboxes. Hybrids give up on saving the Earth, try to change its orbit instead.

byJonathon Ramsey| PUBLISHED Feb 25, 2016 6:30 PM
Arash AF10 Brings “Warp Drive,” 2,080-hp Hybrid to Geneva

Next week’s Geneva Motor Show might be remembered for when hybrids officially went mad as hatters. Germany’s 1,500-horsepower Bugatti Chiron is going to be the headliner, but the even more powerful Koenigsegg Regera will roll out of Sweden, the 1,073-hp Rimac Concept_One hails from Croatia and 1,030-hp turbine-assisted TREV from China will help form the dawn of the hybrid Avengers. Now add the Arash AF10 to the roll call. The tiny English manufacturer is bringing its updated model with a total of 2,080 horsepower and 1,681 pound-feet of torque.

Such cockeyed numbers are the result of what Arash calls a “warp drive system” comprising a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 aided and abetted by four electric motors. We believe the petrol engine is the General Motors LT4, shipped with 650 hp and 650 lb-ft in the current Chevrolet Corvette Z06 but here blown out to 900 horsepower and 885 lb-ft of torque. The first AF10 launched in 2010 used the 7.0-liter V8 from the last-generation Corvette Z06, tuned to 550 hp and 475 lb-ft, and that engine remains available in the base, non-hybrid version of the new carbon fiber bullet.

Germany’s Compact Dynamics provides the electric motors, two mounted inboard on the front axle and two more on the rear, each of them rated at 295 hp and a hair over 200 lb-ft. Total boost from their efforts is 1,180 hp and 803 lb-ft. A 32-kWh lithium-ion battery feeds them energy, with recharging enabled by a 22-kW port built into the car, or by using the electric motors as generators in “Race” mode.

The single Graziano gearbox in the previous coupe makes way for five cog-swappers here: a six-speed manual or paddle-shift yoked to the internal combustion engine, two gearboxes on each of the electric motors.

For all that interstellar machinery, the performance numbers aren’t so warpy. Arash says the coupe will hit 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, 124 mph in under eight seconds, and 186 mph in less than 27 seconds with all of its power, while in pure electric mode the 0-60 time is 4.6 seconds. As pointed out elsewhere, the Nissan GT-R can keep up with those numbers. Top speed is “in excess of 201 mph,” and well it should be; the base and least expensive AF10 with the 7.0-liter V8 can hit 205 mph.

Built up around the starship tech is a redesigned carbon fiber tub and bodywork with aluminum honeycomb, a new double-wishbone suspension, an adjustable front wing and fixed rear wing, magnesium center-lock wheels. The cabin promises gesture-controlled doors, an AirBar infotainment system sourced from Neonode that debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and certain features you can control with your iPhone or iWatch.

The plutocrat set can choose from three trims, the aforementioned base for 350,000 pounds, the AF10 Hybrid for 1.1 million pounds, and the AF10 Hybrid Racer that fits a roll cage, fire extinguisher, and intercom for 1.2 million pounds. Compared to the Starship Enterprise, we have to admit those tariffs aren’t too shabby.