Lightning at the London motor show 2008

Published: 24 July 2008

London motor show video

The previous GT revealed by the Lightning Car Company two years ago was a conventional 4.8 V8 petrol sports car but then the firm decided to start again from scratch and become a pure electric car brand. The result – claimed to be Britain’s first all-electric sports car – was shown at London…

What’s new on Lightning’s London motor show stand?

The completely redesigned 2008 GT – only the windscreens are common – is a pure electric vehicle with a claimed 700bhp equivalent of power on tap. It’s a dream machine in every sense: 100 percent electric with four in-wheel motors, slick sports car styling, 0-60mph in under four seconds, a 180-mile range and claimed 10-minute recharge.

At circa £120k, it won’t be cheap and there’s still further investment needed for development work on the battery technology before hoped for production in very late 2009.

CAR’s Lightning highlight

This is a green car that doesn’t look like a kid’s toy. Its curvy but muscular lines – courtesy of principal designer Daniel Durrant – look great and there are some neat details like the blue back-lit filler cap behind the B-pillar that changes colour – as an Apple Mac laptop does – when it’s fully recharged. There’s also room for golf clubs in the back.

What were they thinking?
 
Probably something along the lines of ‘We can’t wait to start making this car…’

In a nutshell

Great idea and fantastically packaged prototype but the proof of the pudding will be in the eating: let’s hope we really will be able to drive this car by late 2009/early 2010.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage

CAR reader reports

To read CAR’s reader
reporter’s verdict
on the Lightning stand,
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And now read CAR reader reporter asp’s review of the Lightning stand. Be sure to ‘Add your comment’ afterwards and rate their efforts.

What surprised me most on the Lighting stand?

That the car can be charged in ten minutes. I’m dubious if that’ll get you further than one traffic-light grand prix, however, they claim it’ll only require 30 batteries so maybe not impossible. Also, the company was founded in 2006, with an aim for launch in 2010.

Forget the PR spin. I reckon the real story here is…

Lighting, if they make true to their claims and hopes, could have a sales hit on their hands. They are estimating a price of £120k or thereabouts, and there will be a huge desire for users with high-end luxury playthings having something like this to complement their diesel S-class or hybrid Lexus.

Reader verdict

It’s classically proportioned and styled, it won’t set the world on fire for groundbreaking looks, however it’s probably got the image just right for tempting people out of their Continental GT’s. 700hp could be useful to.

I’d love it to succeed, but it is another emerging British sports car company. The user-selectable drivetrain noise seems tackily out of character. I accept it can’t sound like a glorified milk float, and there are safety concerns, it just seems a bit like downloadable ring-tones.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage

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