Brian Wismann, Lead Designer at Brammo, has been answering questions about his new Enertia LE over on an EV motorcycle forum, ElMoto.net (props to ElMoto for being one of the “Big Three” in the EV motorcycle forum world, along with Electric Motorcycle Forum and V is for Voltage).
As discussions of these sort often do, the subject has wandered a bit off point and Brian recently answered a question about the relationship of the Ariel Atom supercar to Brammo and the Enertia. Here it is:
Brammo re-engineered and manufactured the gas-powered Ariel Atom for the US market. We had a design license from Ariel UK for the vehicle for about 2 years. Brammo had a hard time getting the Honda K20A motor, so we integrated the GM Ecotec 2.0L Supercharged engine with Jay Leno pulling some strings and working with GM’s powertrain group. Jay picked up the first car off the production line of the 130 that Brammo built prior to transferring the license and equipment to TMI in Virginia, who now build the cars.
The Wrightspeed was a one-off prototype built independently of Ariel UK or Ariel US (read: Brammo) prior to our deal being done and never commercialized. Ian Wright was using the vehicle as a demonstrator of what kind of vehicle he could build…
Our own investigation into “electrifying” the Atom was what ultimately led to the development of the Enertia and the re-birth of the company as the mean, green machine you now know… You’ll note that initial prototypes of the Enertia used ALOT of carbon fiber and CNC machined parts, because we had extensive in-house composite and metal forming capabilities for the Atom production. We decided that our experience in engineering efficient, light-weight vehicles was directly applicable to EVs and saw a chance to make difference in the industry. Perhaps a bit odd to think about, but the Enertia draws more of a heritage from race cars than do most road cars!