You might not be familiar with VUHL (Vehicles of Ultra- lightweight and High-performance), but in just a few days, at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed , you’re going to get acquainted with it real quickly.
The "highly specialist" automaker is the brainchild of brothers Iker and Guillermo Echeverria, whose Mexican/American design agency, Etxe, was responsible for designing the 05, a road-legal lightweight supercar that no one has ever seen, at least until now. The model was designed for the road and track, and comes as a response to cars like BAC Mono, Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow.
According to Iker, VUHL wanted to develop a "highly intuitive machine that was both stirringly fast and immense fun to drive – a car we ourselves would want to own." And the result is the new 05.
UPDATE 07/03/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Click past the jump to read more about the VUHL 05.
The new 05 is built on a monocoque that weights just 171 pounds, which helps ensures a dry weight of just 1,532 pounds. VUHL built the chassis, using aerospace technology and used a three-section bonded tub constructed from aluminum extrusions and aluminum honeycomb for rigidity and low weight.
This structure, combined with a three-stage forward crash structure and double layer sidewalls, help provide a high level of protection.
VUHL made the 05’s body from RTM reinforced plastic, but customers can also opt for a carbon-fiber body. There is also an aerodynamic package that includes a flat under-body, front and lateral splitters, rear diffuser and rear spoiler to help increase downforce and reduce drag.
|Width||1,876 mm (73.85 inches)|
|Length||3,718 mm (146.37 inches)|
|Height||1,120 mm (44.09 inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,300 mm (90.55 inches)|
|Ground clearance||110 mm (4.33 inches)|
|Dry weight||695 kg (1,532 pounds)|
|Curb weight||725 kg (1,598 pounds)|
|Power-to-weight ratio||400 bhp/tonne|
|Weight distribution||37/63 (front/rear)|
The interior offers lots of features seen in high-performance sports cars. These features include: carbon-fiber bucket seats; a 330 mm (12.99-inch) quick-release, water-resistant, suede-covered steering wheel; electronic data acquisition dash; integral HD camera; and water-resistant Dinamica suede trim.
Under the hood, VUHL placed a Ford-sourced 2.0-liter DOHC turbocharged EcoBoost engine that delivers a total of 285 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. Combine this output with the 1,532-pound dry weight and come to a power-to-weight ratio of 400 horsepower per tonne. The engine mates to a six-speed manual gearbox.
This drivetrain sprints the 05 from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph).
|Engine||2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual transmission|
|Acceleration (0-100 km/h)||3.7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||152 mph|
Suspensions and brakes
The new VUHL 05 rides on OZ alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance Michelin tires, sized 205/45R17 up front and 235/45R18 on the rear.
VUHL also offers a suspension system with unequal-length double-wishbones on the front and rear. The brake system features 310 mm (12.20-inch) ventilated cross-drilled discs at the front and 280 mm (11.02-inch) discs on the rear.
The new VUHL 05 is priced at £55,000 (plus tax, plus shipping) - about $84,000 at the current exchange rates. The model will initially hit the UK and North American markets, but in the future it will also be offered in Europe, China and the Middle East.
It’s no surprise to see that the new VUHL 05 looks a little bit like its competitors.
The BAC Mono however is a one-seat track car that isn’t remotely tuned for street use. It is powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 280 horsepower. This engine sprints the car to an impressive top speed of 170 mph.
It is a little bit faster than the 05, but is also a little bit more expensive: about $108,000.
Gallery BAC Mono Track Car
The X-Bow is by far our favorite track-oriented car. It is powered by a 2.0-liter TSFI engine that delivers a total of 300 horsepower and a peak torque of 295 pound-feet. This engine helps sprint the X-Bow R to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and to a 231 km/h (143 mph) top speed. So, why is the X-Bow more powerful than the VUHL, but slower than it? This is courtesy of the X-Bows relatively bulky 790 kg (1,741-pound) dry weight.
Prices for the X-Bow start at $88,500.
Gallery KTM X-Bow R
The new VUHL 05 is just another car specially developed for the track, but that can also be driven on the road. It looks cool, delivers the right amount of power and seems to be pretty fast.
In short: the perfect recipe for a great sports car. We’re just waiting to testing it to see how good it is.
- Looks very cool
- Extremely quick
- Highly aerodynamic
- Competition is more powerful and fast
- No optional power upgrades
uillermo Echeverria senior, the father of its designers Guillermo and Iker Echeverria, was a professional driver who built and successfully raced his own cars for 30 years. The sons inherited his passion and knowledge and added qualifications in transportation design. Guillermo Junior has direct experience of the performance car industry, while Iker won the Mexican QUORUM Industrial Design Award in 2007 when still a student - he was not only up against fellow scholars but senior designers, agencies and universities.
The brothers subsequently formed their own Mexico City/Detroit-based design agency, ETXE, which having worked on projects for numerous global brands then penned the 05 – a lightweight supercar for road and track in the vein of the BAC Mono, Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow etc.
Said Iker: “Our background means the VŪHL 05 has been developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We were determined to create a highly intuitive machine that was both stirringly fast and immense fun to drive – a car we ourselves would want to own. We have endeavoured to endow it with class-leading ergonomics and a contemporary silhouette of striking proportions, and the aim of uncompromising build quality has underpinned the project since day one.”
The 05’s monocoque weighs in at a mere 78kg, while the dry weight of the entire car is a very competitive 695kg. The chassis comprises a three-section bonded tub constructed from aluminium extrusions and aluminium honeycomb - aerospace technology that endows the 05 with a remarkably high level of torsional rigidity for optimum handling. Bolted direct to the passenger cell is a chrome-moly steel subframe housing the engine and rear suspension. A three-stage forward crash structure and double layer sidewalls provide a matchless level of protection for the occupants. The standard body is made from RTM reinforced plastic, but carbonfibre is an option. The aero features include a flat underbody, front and lateral splitters, rear diffuser and rear spoiler.
Power comes from a 2-litre version of Ford’s award-winning DOHC turbocharged EcoBoost engine, the output of which is 285bhp and 420Nm of torque, giving a power to weight ratio of 400bhp per tonne. This results in a 0-100kph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 245kph.
The engine drives through a six-speed manual gearbox. Steering is by a high ratio rack and pinion system.
The suspension is by unequal length double wishbones front and rear. Braking is by four-pot alloy callipers all-round, operating on 310mm ventilated cross-drilled discs at the front and 280mm units at the rear.
The 05 rides on OZ alloy wheels shod with Michelin tyres; the sizes of which are 205/45 x 17 front; 235/45 x 18 rear.
The unique specification can include: carbon bucket seats; 330mm quick release water-resistant suede-covered steering wheel; electronic data acquisition dash; integral HD camera; and water-resistant Dinamica suede trim.
Orders are being taken now for delivery beginning in the spring of 2014. Pricing will start from c.£55,000 (plus tax, plus shipping). There is a wide range of performance options available to allow the 05 to be upgraded to personal taste.
Initial sales will be confined to the UK and North America (dealers are currently under appointment in both countries), but the intention is to make the car available in the other key European countries, China, Middle-East etc in due course.