Japan-based boutique carmaker Aspark has accomplished what until recently seemed impossible: creating a street-legal electric car that goes from 0 to 60 miles an hour in barely over 1.9 seconds.
The car, called the Aspark Owl, destroys the acceleration of most of the world’s most expensive gas-powered street racers. The $3 million Bugatti Chiron has clocked 0-60 in a leisurely 2.3 seconds, while the Lamborghini Aventador does it in a positively glacial 2.7 seconds. By comparison, no less an authority than Top Gear describes the OWL’s performance as “ridiculous.”
The feat was captured in a video, recently highlighted by Jalopnik.
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Of course, it might not be entirely fair to compare the Owl’s acceleration to high-end gas cars. Electric motors have inherently higher torque and better acceleration than gas engines at lower speeds, while gas cars can often hit 70 or 80 mph faster. A fairer comparison, then, might be to Tesla’s all-electric Model S, which last year became the fastest-accelerating production car in the world. Its billed 0-60 acceleration time is 2.5 seconds, though independent tests have seen times just under 2.3 seconds.
The Owl, then, could soon become the zippiest car you’ll ever pull up next to at a stoplight—but there are two caveats. First, according to Jalopnik, the recent run was made with a set of racing tires, many of which aren’t safe or legal for everyday driving. But Aspark is working towards hitting a sub-2-second 0-60 using street-legal tires.
The second condition is a bit bigger: the Owl will reportedly be priced at $4.4 million, and start with a limited production run of 50 vehicles. You could buy nearly 65 base Model S’s for that price, or about 22 of the upcoming $200,000 Tesla Roadster. That car isn’t coming until 2020, but Tesla is already promising that it can match the Owl, with a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds.