It’s official that Italian automaker, ATS, is coming back and in full force. Back in the 1960s, ATS began its short, but storied, history as a racecar manufacturer, then quickly turned to manufacturing road-going cars when racing fell through. Well, we have already seen the road-going ATS model, the 2500 GT, and now we are going to have a look at the other end of the spectrum, the race-ready ATS Sport 1000.
The thing about racing is that it is not always about massive power. In most road races, it is more about agility, acceleration, and fast-revving engines. Judging by some of the details on the ATS Sport 1000, this car certainly meets and even exceeds some of the expectations of a racecar. So, can this up-and-coming automaker really produce a successful racecar and road car at the same time?
To figure that out, we need to have a look at what makes this car tick.
UPDATE 11/11/12: ATS has officially announced pricing details for the Sport 1000. If you’re a little nervous about how much it’s going to cost, don’t be. It was a little cheaper than what we initially expected.
Click past the jump to read our full review on the ATS Sport 1000 and find out if it has what it takes to dominate the racing world.
On the outside, you have a pretty standard racing body with its bulging front fenders, open cockpit, and huge rear wing. The ATS Sport 1000 boasts a tubular stainless steel chassis that weighs all of 55 kg (121.25 lbs). The body is made in three pieces that are constructed of fiberglass with Kevlar inserts. The three panels are easily removed via quick-coupling connectors.
The Sport 1000’s underbody is made of fiberglass with Kevlar inserts and is designed to develop massive down-force on the car. Add in the front spoiler and the adjustable aluminum rear spoiler and you get an impressive 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs) maximum down-force – that’s simply impressive, considering the whole car weighs just 420 kg (925.9 lbs).
Keeping you safe and meeting most racing series regulations is a fully collapsible honeycomb crash-box.
|Dimensions (L x W)|| 4.3 meters (169.3 inches) x 1.6 meters (63 inches) |
|Dry Weight|| 380 kg (838 lbs) |
|Curb Weight|| 925.9 lbs |
|Down-Force|| 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs.) |
On the inside, there’s not too much to talk about; it’s a racecar. You get a Sparco racing steering wheel, 4- or 5-point harness, Digital Instruments digital ETB-Dash, and Tillet superlight fiberglass seats. You can opt for carbon-fiber seats to replace the fiberglass ones if you so choose.
Engine and Driveline
In terms of engines, you have a wide selection, but ATS makes no mention of exactly what engines you can choose from. All that ATS tells us is that you can choose from a line of motorcycle engines made by Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, or Kawasaki. We assume that these are all at least 1,000 cc, 4-cylinder engines from sport bikes, like the CBR, Hayabusa, Ninja, GSXR, etc. With the ultra-low weight of the ATS Sport 1000, not much horsepower is needed to get it up and going, so a motorcycle engine should work just fine.
The engine hooks up to a 6-speed sequential gearbox that delivers the power to the rear wheels. You have the option of going with a traditional lever-style shifter or a paddle shifter. The trans connects to the engine via a single-plate clutch; this is again just fine with a sub-500 kg car.
The rear wheels get their power from a Quaife ATB limited-slip differential, helping keep optimal traction through the twist and when accelerating.
|Engine|| Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, or Kawasaki Motorcycle Engine |
|Cooling System|| Front Aluminum Radiator with High-Efficiency Alloy Pipes |
|Oil Cooling System|| Side Oil Cooler Radiator |
|Lubrication System|| Wet Sump, Dry Sump Optional |
|Exhaust System|| Stainless-Steel Exhaust System |
|Transmission|| 6-Speed Sequential Gearbox |
|Clutch|| Single-Plate Clutch |
|Shifter Interface|| Lever-Speed Sequential (Paddle Shift Optional) |
|Clutch|| Single Plate |
|Differential|| Quaife ATB Limited-Slip Differential |
In the world of racing, wins and loses come in the corners, and the ATS Sport 1000 certainly has a leg up with its super-light body. Under its body, however, it has even more going for it. It features independent suspension all around with aluminum billet uprights, symmetrical wishbones on the left and right, and Teflon bushings.
Absorbing the bumps are four adjustable dampers with multiple specifications for both road and race. Anti-roll bars on the front and rear keep the body from leaning too far in the corners.
All of these suspension components and the lightweight body allow the ATS Sport 1000 to achieve 3 Gs of lateral grip with road tires and 4 Gs with slick tires. Yeah, 3 to 4 Gs is one hell of an impressive number for any race car, simply impressive.
|Suspensions|| Independent Suspensions All Around |
|Uprights|| Aluminum Billet Uprights, Symmetrical Configuration Left/Right |
|Wishbones|| Wishbone Arms, Symmetrical Configuration Left / Right |
|Bushes|| Arm Bushings Made in Teflon |
|Dampers|| Adjustable Dampers with Various Specifications Road, Race (AVO, NITRON, ORAM) |
|Anti-roll bar|| Anti-Roll Bars Front and Rear |
After a little bit of anticipation, ATS has revealed that the 1000 Sport can be had for €25,000, which is about $32,000 based on current exchange rates. It’s not cheap, but it’s not over-the-moon expensive, either. A fair price that was a little lower than our price expectations for it.
Unfortunately, ATS hasn’t released any information on the engines available for the Sport 1000. If it had released the information, we could have compared the Sport 1000 to some of the other racecars on the market, like the Caterham R600 or the KTM X-Bow. Without this information or a price, we cannot compare it.
We can, however, say that on paper, the ATS Sport 1000 is a pretty awesome piece of machinery. With its 480 kg weight and great handling, it may be good choice for anyone looking to get a start in racing.
480 kg is simply amazing
4 Gs with racing slicks!
Only €25,000 ($32,000)
No mention on what engines are available
No pricing given
Fiberglass is really outdated