Can the latest Chinese electric supercar make a strong case for itself?

Very few players in the automotive industry can boast such a rapid rate of progress like the Chinese carmakers. In just two decades, they evolved from making rudimentary three-wheeled transportation devices to producing viable alternatives to many of the established players on the market. This rapid progress does not just extend to normal commuter vehicles either. For 2021, BAIC Group in cooperation with BJEV (Beijing Electric Vehicles) decided to attack the electric supercar market. They are introducing two versions of the Arctic Fox – the ARCFOX GT Race edition and now, the more road-oriented ARCFOX GT.

Exterior

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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Both the racing edition and road version are quite similar. They are basically the same car, however, they do have their distinctive features. In terms of dimensions, the two versions are identical, except for the height – 1,196 mm (47 in) for the race edition, as opposed to the 1,236 mm (47.6 in) figure of the road version.
From some angles, the ARCFOX bears some resemblance to the McLaren Senna mixed with some 720S. But make no mistake, it’s not your typical copy-paste situation like we’ve come to expect from some Chinese manufacturers.

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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The headlights are positioned at the very corners of the front and they swoop down aggressively towards the center of the front fascia. They almost seem to be one with the air ducts underneath them, just like on a McLaren 720S, but they are actually not. You do get plenty of exposed carbon-fiber across the exterior, which makes the car look even more aggressive and exotic.

The side profile looks quite busy at first glance, but the designers have actually managed to accommodate all the curves, vents, and different shapes in a very subtle manner. The design manages to blend some of the best and most distinctive design cues from other hypercars, such as the McLaren Senna and Jaguar C-X75 Concept car.

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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The more track-oriented Race edition features ten-spoke lightweight center-lock wheels, finished in black, while the road version features a two-tone turbine-style wheel design. The rear of the car is just as aggressive as the front, featuring long fang-like taillights accommodating an X-shaped LED pattern. The taillights are complemented by massive air ducts, underneath, the shape of which curves up in order to seamlessly merge with the outer section of the taillights.

This being an electric vehicle, we don’t have any exhaust tips. Instead, the massive diffuser accommodates a rear-view camera. While the ARCFOX GT features an active rear wing, which in its lowest setting is flush with the bodyline, the GT Race edition has a fixed GT3-style rear wing.

Arctic Fox ARCFOX exterior dimensions
Length 4672 mm
Width 2018 mm
Height 1236 mm
Wheelbase 2800 mm

Interior

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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Both the ARCFOX GT and GT Race edition feature virtually identical interior layouts. Naturally, the more track-oriented Race version features more exposed carbon-fiber, while the road version is a bit more exquisite, featuring a good amount of Alcantara throughout. The dashboard is largely digital, with a big instrument cluster, in front of the driver and a large center console between the seats, featuring what seems like touch-sensitive surfaces. The overall interior design is surprisingly reminiscent of the 1980s, featuring flat surfaces and bosting an angular design.

Regardless of the version, you get a racing steering wheel and bucket seats. In the road version, they are finished in Alcantara, while the Race edition features race harnesses. Overall, the interior is a great example of the Chinese take on classic-futurism design.

Drivetrain

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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Regardless of the version, all four wheels are driven thanks to individual electric motors and inverters with active torque vectoring. However, this is where things become different. The Race edition has six electric motors, with two being in the front and four at the rear. They produce a total output of 1,000 horsepower (750 kW) and 973 pound-feet (1,320 Nm).

Here’s where it gets a bit weird. The more road-oriented version ditches two of the rear electric motors and features one motor per wheel. However, power goes up to 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW), while the peak torque drops down to 590 pound-feet (800 Nm).

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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Both versions of the ARCFOX are capable of reaching 62 mph (100 km/h) from standstill in less than 2.6 seconds, on their way to over 158 mph (255 km/h) top speed.

At the same time, they are capable of 1.5 g lateral acceleration. Both versions of the car weigh less than 4,056 pounds (1,840 kg). They also use a double-wishbone suspension in the front and a multi-link independent setup in the rear. You get carbon-ceramic brakes with six-piston calipers in all four corners, which enables the cars to come to a complete stop from 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 30 meters (GT Race edition) and 35 meters (GT).

The ARCFOX features some very clever tech too. It features an all-carbon-based battery pack with a honeycomb aluminum structure for added lightness. An 85-kW fast-charging system ensures you get from 20 to 80 percent charge in around 30 minutes. The ARCFOX has a range of over 248 miles (400 km).

Arctic Fox ARCFOX specifications
Powertrain four electric motors
Horsepower 1,600 HP
Torque 590 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 2.6 seconds
Top Speed 158 mph
Weight 4,056 pounds (1,840 kg)
Range 248 miles (400 km)

Final Thoughts

2021 Arctic Fox ARCFOX Exterior
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It seems now more than ever, all eyes are on the Chinese automotive industry. Chinese carmakers have managed to come a long way and are making some cars worthy of admission. Not only that, cars like the ARCFOX are proof that China is perfectly capable of making proper supercars, powered by electricity – a fact previously established by cars like the NIO EP9. The ARCFOX GT Race edition is advertised as a full-on race car, which might be a bit of a stretch. Be it as it may, you cannot argue with the numbers. The ARCFOX already surpasses cars like the Rimac Concept Two, in terms of lightness 4,300 pounds (1,950 kg) vs 4,056 pounds (1,840 kg) and although it’s not quite there in terms of performance, it proves that the Chinese automotive industry can make a serious contender in the world of electric supercars.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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