HiETA Recuperator Utilised in Ariel HiPERCAR

HiETA Recuperator Featured as Part of the Micro-Turbine Range Extender in Ariel HiPERCAR 

HiETA is pleased to announce that our Additive Manufactured MiTRE recuperator has been used in the micro-turbine range extender system on the Ariel HiPERCAR.

Standing for High Performance Carbon Reduction, the project is destined for full release in 2019 and Ariel production in 2020 alongside the Atom, Nomad and Ace.  As with other Ariel vehicles, the focus of HiPERCAR is on extreme performance, agility and usability, now coupled with zero and ultra-low emissions. To be available in four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive variants HiPERCAR will offer staggering performance utilising cutting edge, UK developed technology and will be built in Somerset, England by Ariel.

Phase 1 of the project, undertaken by Ariel with partners Equipmake and Delta Motorsport, will demonstrate both 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive prototypes and will be shown at the Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) Show at Millbrook on 6 and 7 September 2017.

HiPERCAR is a Series Hybrid EV (Electric Vehicle) featuring a 750 Volt, 42 kWh or 56kWh, lithium-ion, cooled and heated battery pack which is charged, when required, by a 35kW micro-turbine range extender, negating any range anxiety issues and making the vehicle independent of any charging infrastructure.

Building on the output of the ‘MiTRE’ programme, a 17kW micro-turbine system released in 2016, Delta Motorsport have developed a 35kW version of its range extender to suit the HiPERCAR application. The unit features a gas turbine, running at a fixed 120,000 rpm to optimise efficiency, and operates at a nominal 750V generating power to maintain battery state of charge.  The unit is automatically switched on and off as required via the battery management system, or by manual override.  Weighing less than 50kg the range extender is significantly smaller and lighter than a piston engine alternative, allowing packaging flexibility and saving weight. The combustion system incorporates a HiETA recuperator and reduces emissions, particularly NOx, to a level well below legislative requirements.

HiETA was one of a number of collaborators on the ‘MiTRE’ (MicroTurbine Range Extender) programme and developed a highly efficient recuperator specifically for the MiTRE engine. Made using Laser Powder Bed Additive Manufacturing from Inconel 625, the MiTRE recuperator (shown below) is 6% more effective than an equivalent conventionally manufactured solution.

The result incorporates HiETA know-how in:


  • Shape-optimised heat transfer surfaces
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process parameters for thin wall structures
  • Data handling for robust outcomes
  • High-productivity Additive Manufacturing processes
  • Powder removal
  • Part integration
  • Inspection

When it came to developing a 35 kW version of the MiTRE system for the HiPERCAR, Delta Motorsport turned to HiETA for a solution. In response, HiETA was able to scale-up the original 17 kW design to meet the increased power demands of the HiPERCAR application (below).


A HiETA recuperator positioned ahead of the exhaust (highlighted in blue), is utilised in the micro-turbine range extender in the Ariel HiPERCAR (Image: Ariel Motor Company Ltd)

The results of this and all of the other innovations in the HiPERCAR are stunning. Total torque is 1,800 Nm (1327 ft-lb) at motor and 9,900 Nm (7301 ft-lb) at the wheels in the 4 wheel drive HiPERCAR and 900Nm (664 ft-lb) at motor and 4,950 Nm (3651 ft-lb) at the wheels in the 2 wheel drive car.

Vehicle performance is exceptional, even by Ariel’s standards:

0 – 60   mph             2.4 secs

0 – 100 mph            3.8 secs

0 – 150 mph            7.8 secs

   Top speed            160 mph