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.
Minerva Automobiles - also known as the Belgian Rolls-Royce of early last century - is working on a major comeback and apparently the first supercar to come from the newly reborn company is the J.M. Brabazon.
The new J.M. Brabazon was named after Lord of Tara John Moore Brabazon, who was actively involved in the early Minerva company as a racecar driver and as a committee board member.
The supercar is built on a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and features a carbon-Kevlar body to help keep its weight low. On the outside, the car slightly resembles an Audi R8 , but it features a prominent front fascia, LED headlights and a ventilated rear bumper that houses the dual tailpipes. The new J.M. Brabazon sits on a set of 19-inch wheels up front and 20-inch wheel on the rear.
Under the hood, Minerva placed a twin-turbo V-12 engine powering the rear wheels combined with two electric motors for the front ones. Top speed is an unreal 248 mph and the drivetrain delivers a power to weight ratio of 1-to-1.
No other details have been offered on the new Minerva supercar , but we do know it will be equipped with a sequential transmission, a limited slip differential and regenerative brakes.
Click past the jump to read more about the Minerva JM Brabazon.
Monte Carlo Automobile was founded back in 1983 by racecar driver and engineer Fulvio Maria Ballabio. MCA launched its first prototype , the MCA Centenaire, which the company built to mark the centenary of the Automobile Club of Monaco. This year, MCA celebrates its 30th anniversary and to mark the event, the company announced the Rascasse - a supercar named after the famous Monte Carlo circuit corner.
The Rascasse is powered by a mid-mounted engine, BMW -sourced 5.4-liter V-12 engine with a total output of 500 horsepower. The supercar is capable of running both on gasoline and hydrogen-enriched LPG, thanks to the expertise of Italian LPG specialist, BRC.
MCA will limit the new Rascasse to only 15 units, each carrying a price tag of €500,000 - about $660,000 at the current exchange rates. A more powerful, hybrid version of the Rascasse with an all-wheel-drive system is also under consideration.
Click past the jump to read more about the Rascasse’s competitors.
In 2010, a Yokohama EV Sports Vehicle HER-02 set a record for the fastest electric vehicle to complete the iconic 12.42-mile-long Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The vehicle obtained an impressive time of 13:17.575 with Ikuo Hanawa behind the wheel. That mark shattered the previous Pikes Peak EV record, set by Jeri Unser in 2003, by 65 seconds.
Last year, the same vehicle finished fifth in its class and for this year Yokohama will make another try.
The HER-02 is powered by an electric motor that delivers a total of 255 horsepower and takes its power from a 37 kWh Sanyo battery pack. All of the motor’s 255 ponies are sent to the rear wheels. The electric vehicle weighs only 2,535 pounds and, thanks to its two spoilers, it delivers a surprising amount of downforce to help it stay glued to the road in twists.
Click past the jump to read more about HER-02’s competitors at Pikes Peak.
Dimitris Korres may not be a famous name in the auto industry these days, but give it some time and he just might be more than that. The Greek architect and inventor is about ready to showcase his first venture into the auto industry.
The Korres Project 4.
If you’re wondering what that is, the Project 4 is a supercar and a pretty impressive one at that.
The full details about the Project 4 will be unveiled soon in Greece, but there’s already a steady amount of information that’s been disclosed to the public. Chief among them is the powertrain, which takes the form of a 7.0-liter naturally aspirated engine that produces an impressive 505 horsepower, allowing it to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 186 mph.
Translated in any language, those numbers are impressive across the board.
Another important bit of information about the Project 4 is its dimensions.
It’s 3,920 mm (154.3 inches) long, 1,960 mm (77.2 inches) wide, and 1,250 mm (49.2 inches) tall with a wheelbase of 2,560 mm (100.8 inches). Taken all together, the Project 4 weighs 1,600 kg (3,527 pounds).
Be sure to check back here in the coming days. We’ll have the full details of the Korres Project 4 as soon as it makes its public debut.
Click past the jump to read about a potential future competitor for the Project 4.
As a project of Neal Bailey’s BXR Motors, the Bailey Blade XTR has been in the oven for quite some time now. But the project car has yet to progress into an actual production car because, well, there wasn’t enough money to do so.
But now, the money has been injected into the project and, thanks to a teaser video released by BXR Motors, the Bailey Blade XTR is mere months away from making its official debut at the 2013 SEMA Auto Show .
It’s definitely a long time coming, especially since it has made various media rounds in the past but never got the opportunity to actually get up and running.
Needless to say, we’re all excited to see what BXR Motors has in store for all of us when the Bailey Blade XTR finally makes its debut at SEMA later this year.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Bailey Blade XTR.
Niche French automaker, PGO, first introduced the Cevennes Water Snake Concept at the Shanghai Motor Show.
While it offered little in the way of details at that time, it has finally given us new details and photos of the exclusive sports roadster. And what it shows us is a car that looks more like it is ready to tackle the streets of the globe rather than sit in a design studio as a “concept.”
For what it’s worth, the company has indeed come a long way since it returned in 2005 after Al Sayer International acquired the fledgling coachbuilder. The company was actually born in the 1980s and started off by building replicas of classic European sports cars , namely Porsches .
But with the financial backing provided by Al Sayer International, PGO has evolved into having multiple models to its name, including the Cevennes Water Snake Concept.
Click past the jump to read about the PGO Cevennes Water Snake Concept
Bristol Cars is a British-based company founded in 1945 that specializes in developing hand-built luxury cars. The company produces only 20 units per year, but even so, it manages to maintain loyal clientele.
One of the most famous cars developed by Bristol was the Fighter - a sports car that can hit a top speed of about 200 mph. Along with that beast, the company has developed lots of other models and all of them used either BMW or Chrysler engines to power them.
Now Bristol wants to hit that 200 mph mark one more time, but this time in a new extended-range electric GT supercar. The model is still in its development process and will be shown in concept form at the end of this year.
It will use the same design language we saw on the 2009 Giugiaro-styled Namir supercar concept and will be offered with technology developed by Surrey-based technology group Frazer-Nash Research.
Note: pictures shown here are of the Giugiaro Namir Concept, not the Bristol GT.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Bristol GT.
RallyRaid International brings 16 years of hard-fought distance rallying expertise to the creation of their latest model, the Desert Warrior 3. The DW3’s rise and current dominance of FIA endurance rallying is an interesting “underdog” story. Exclusive interviews with team principle Paul Round and lead designer Mike “BD” Jones reveal the details of the BMW-powered DW3’s exotic in-house design and the current two-model range.
The RallyRaid DW3 looks like a simple body-style evolution on the familiar Bowler template for Land Rover-based Dakar rally cars. In fact, the Evoque appearances are just a cosmetic touch to provide continuity between the DW3 and RallyRaid’s previous generations of Defender -inspired Desert Warriors.
UK-based RallyRaid International is a small, battle-hardened operation that shies from the limelight much more than others in the high-dollar rally prototype scene. The competition schedule demands the bulk of the team accompany the race cars on their frequent two-week-long, 1,000-plus-mile off-road races in some of the most desolate, inhospitable corners of the globe. There is no road-legal variant and there’s no fancy customer showroom - aside from the dusty podiums of the Dakar finish line.
Please follow the jump for the full mechanical specifications, an awesome video montage of the car’s design and construction and image gallery of the Desert Warrior 3 inside and out.
Rumors have been floating recently that the new cooperation between Alpine and Caterham will give birth to a new sports car. While that has surely driven intrigue into this still-to-be-named model, it’s still part of the not-so-distant future.
What is recent, though, is Alpine’s apparent return to 24-hour racing and it’s got quite a racecar in its fold ready to take on all comers. Called the A450, the race car is expected to bring the extra excitement to endurance racing at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours and this year’s European Le Mans Series (ELMS). The car will be raced by the 24-year-old Nelson Panciatici and 29-year-old Pierre Ragues. This marks Alpine’s return to the world of motorsport after an absence of 35 years.
The new Alpine A450 will be powered by a Nissan -sourced V-8 engine that delivers a total of 500 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed sequential X-Trac gearbox. With a total weight of just 1984 pounds, the new race car will hit a pretty impressive top speed of 205 mph.
Speaking of impressive, have a look at the A450; it’s all that and then a little more. The brand’s striking blue and orange color combination harkens back to the days of the Alpine-Renault A442B that raced the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978. If for nothing else, it’s a fitting tribute to the company’s racing history while also serving a reminder to the rest of the field that Alpine is back and ready to take some names.
Updated 04/10/2013: Alpine officially confirmed today that its first racing car in 35 years will be called A450. The model pays tribute to the A441, A442 and A443 which scored amazing results at the Le Mans in the 1970s. The figure "50" "symbolizes the fiftieth anniversary of Alpine’s first official entry for the Le Mans 24 Hours." The new A450 will be available for purchase in 2016.