Produced in Coventry, Arc’s bespoke £90,000 Vector is the stuff ingenious automotive dreams are made on, revving the desire of Hollywood stars such as Ryan Reynolds and overseas royal clients with thrilling best-in-class tech, performance and quality. Founded officially in 2020 by purist biking maverick and former Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) engineer Marc Truman, the company is aiming to turn over £15 million next year, buttressed by the success of sister engineering consultancy Arc Design which helps other motor manufacturers make the electric vehicle transition.
Arc’s rethinking of the motorbike’s traditional configuration for a new green age has led to the breakthrough Vector being super-special in many ways.
By replacing the traditional frame with a battery, it delivers a dynamic riding experience that electric vehicles often lack. Taking just 40 minutes to charge, and with a range of 430km, it can reach 100kmph in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 200kmph.
Steering is controlled, but the bike has the manoeuvrability to run on steeper angles. Aside from carbon fibre, its structural components include sustainable bio-resins and flax composites.
Its accessories are just as futuristic. For its Angel Edition Vector, the Origin haptic jacket gives the rider directions – such a tap to indicate the correct turn or an alert about what is behind – while its Zenith Heads-Up Display helmet contains an interior projection-based system. “Fighter pilot technology,” says Truman.
“It’s all about the Human Machine Interface,” he explains. “The interaction between the person and the machine. Technology enables new ways of seeing and feeling.”
Born out of his time with JLR working on recreational innovation projects including the design of a Bond car that gave him an invaluable “wide-angled lens”, he decided that he would get the bike to market quicker if the brand went independent.
The relationship with JLR continues however with the giant holding a 15 per cent stake in Arc V.
A separate investment letdown in 2019 dealt a huge blow, but Truman pushed on self-funding and resurrecting the current company using the bank of skills in-house to create breadwinner Arc Design.
As well as a lot of “whiteboards, Post-it notes and mind maps,” computer-aided design software from PTC’s Creo platform and its UK partner Root Solutions have played a key role in building the Vector, part of the customised sports bike group known as neo cafe racers.
“The collaborative platform really encourages innovation and we’re now getting the best out of all the features such as generative design, real-time simulation and even additive manufacturing,” says Truman.
“There is also an element of eliminating the costs. It is only at the end of the design that you can really start to understand how things are going to be manufactured and the price of them.
“At that point, there’s a lot of scanning that goes on of those initial parts and then reverse engineering the CAD we’ve created, which reference generative design, which informs us of improvements we might make. It’s fantastic to have the ability to revisit and refine with a high degree of accuracy.
“Creo is used by many of the world’s leading car and motorcycle makers and suppliers. As we grow and look to attract new design talent, we know that they will be adept in the software before they join us. In theory, this should speed up their integration into our team.”
Roger French, managing director of Root Solutions that’s part of the global PDSVISION group, added: “The functionality of Creo and its immersive design allows engineers to stretch the boundaries of innovation. It is fitting that the world’s first fully electric neo cafe bike has been born in Coventry, home of the transport revolution.”
Truman is now planning a £10 million growth investment raise to take production from 100 to 2000 bikes a year on a new site, develop lower-cost models and other potential applications for the trike and quad markets, expand his specialist team from 30 to 50 and sell in the US.
Open too of course to film companies wanting to have the Vector performing in any forthcoming production, “our revolutionary attitude goes beyond engineering,” declares Truman. “It’s technology for a new world order.” www.arcvehicle.com, ww