It took over nine years to complete, but the Spirra - South Korea’s very first supercar - is now ready to be unveiled. Originally the Proto Spirra, this supercar is now the Oullim Spirra due to Oullim’s purchase of Proto back in 2007. It wasn’t without any rough patches, but manufacturer Oullim Motors now has its eyes set for an unveiling very soon.
Powered by a 2.7-liter V6 Hyundai that’s sourced with four different outputs, the Spirra’s low-end line will produce 173hp and 245Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. The next model configuration will come with a small turbo that pushes up the performance to 326hp and 471Nm, while the third level pushes the output even further to around 402hp and 490Nm. The highest end and most powerful version will come with twin-turbos that produce somewhere around 444hp to 493hp and a maximum torque of 539Nm. This top-of-the-line version also comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox and goes from 0-60 mph in just a little over 3.5 seconds with a top speed of around 186mph.
The 2,600lb Spirra is constructed entirely by hand using pretty expensive materials, like carbon fiber, for the supercar’s body. Seeing that the market for locally-manufactured supercars are still slim pickings in South Korea, the Spirra’s unveiling will be a breakthrough for a country that’s slowly making head-way in the auto industry as being one of the foremost producers of quality cars in the world.
UPDATE 04/25/2011: Oullim Motors has unveiled a video detailing all of the steps they have to take to build their phenomenal hand-built supercar. This isn’t your typical machine-made, mass produced vehicle; plenty of TLC goes into every model made. Check it out by clicking on the picture above, plus check out all of the new images of the super car in the gallery provided!
Press Release after the jump
Ultra stiff tubular spaceframe structure
Lightweight full carbonfiber bodywork
Midengine layout for optimum weight bias
Bespoke handcrafted assembly
Genuine racing technology adapted for road use
Lightweight, high performance V6 Turbo engines
History in brief
The history of the Spirra dates back to the beginning of the 1990s when Han-chul Kim and his wife Ji-sun Choi, both talented automotive experts, quit their jobs in leading Korean car companies to establish ‘Proto Motors’.
Proto Motors was an automotive R&D firm specializing in developing advanced automotive concepts with industry clients and soon after settling down as a startup, ideas for a domestic developed supercar started to blossom.
Over several years, what began as an enthusiastic set of ideas developed into a full blown development project. In 2001, the ‘PS-II’ prototype was presented to the press with full commitment to bring it into production.
The difficulties in establishing a small scale, hand built production line of such exotic cars in an industry purely adapted to mass production was so great, the project saw several crisis that would nearly force it to a halt.
In July, 2006, Dong-hyuk Park, CEO of Oullim Group established Oullim Motors, absorbed Proto Motors and reshuffled the project to keep in on course for launch. In the end, it took a decade, 4 generations of complete re-engineering, certification and rewriting of legislature to bring our dream to the road.
As of March 2010, all legislature, homologation and certification was cleared for full production. We are expecting our first cars to be delivered this summer.
Why venture into volatile territory?
The geographic distance from Europe means that the European supercar ownership experience here is quite different to what manufacturers originally intended. It is marred by limited number of servicing centers, significantly higher repair costs due to shipping parts and having to ship the entire car to Europe for extensive damage repairs. This is inconvenient regardless of cost.
As of 2009, Korea is the fifth largest car manufacturing company in the world. But despite the history and technology in the auto manufacturing sector, we never did and still don’t have a proper performance car that represents our country. Therefore, we set to establish a supercar brand of our own by introducing bespoke car manufacturing and servicing in Asia and become a permanent player in high performance Asian supercars.
There’s no point in speed if a supercar is unable to make people’s heart race. Supercars are irrational, emotional cars and from the very first glimpse, a supercar shouldn’t look ordinary. It should look extraordinary.
A dominating presence is the key to supercar design and we worked hard to achieve a look like nothing else from Korea. A new standard to which future Korean performance cars would be judged against.
The Spirra’s design is aggressive in stance and proportion, but less aggressive in the details. This look is intended to inspire excitement, but not completely shout that it is a supercar. An elegant and natural looking supercar design was what we were looking for.
Full carbonfiber bodywork over tubular spaceframe
To meet our own performance standards, the Spirra had to be constructed as light as possible through a full carbonfiber body over a tubular spaceframe. Both are technologies beyond the realm of mass manufacturing due to high costs and difficulties in automation essential for mass manufacturing. The entire process is done by hand by our team of professional craftsmen and mechanics.
The benefits from all this effort is a very light and stiff construction which is useful for responsive high performance capabilities as well as providing superior impact protection to match the performance the Spirra is capable of. This type of technology is adapted from racing for the road and is a completely a unique approach to vehicle development compared to the existing Korean auto industry.
V6 Turbo engines for superior power to weight ratio
The stiff lightweight construction meant that we could rely less on the engine’s power for performance to become a more efficient kind of performance machine. During development, the engine was changed from a naturally aspirated V8 for a turbocharged V6.
This would keep the engine’s weight down to a minimum and still provide V8 levels of power as well as being kinder to the environment. Combining the lightweight construction with our turbocharged V6 results in an astonishing 2.4Kg/HP power to weight ratio.
This design not only yields very quick straightline performance, it absolutely dominates in the corners with less weight to throw around. Extra grip is provided by 225/40R 19 front tires and 275/40R 19 rear tires.
Motorsports proven performance and engineering
Many of the technologies incorporated in the Spirra are derived from racing technology. The Spirra was developed with serious performance in mind and in order to make sure this design is completely functional, racing was part of the car’s development program.
We took one of our prototypes with minimal homologation changes to race in the domestic GT Masters Championship taking two consecutive wins against such rivals as fully race prepared Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, BMW M3s and Nissan 350Zs.
Experience from racing was applied back in our roadcar development by improving various aspects of the car such as suspension tuning, engine mapping and cooling.
Sophisticated Craftsmanship to ensure quality and precision
The same design principle applies to the interior where one can find full
leather treatment throughout to maintain a high quality feel but without inhibiting the joy of driving. The driving feel is a higher priority than speed or luxury. The interior is designed to retain that balance between luxury and function.
Each Spirra is completely hand assembled by our team of professional craftsmen and mechanics in our dedicated production line. This production method ensures that each car meets our strict requirements in quality and precision. The Spirra is our first of many future generations of supercars.
Therefore, our efforts are concentrated in ensuring that our standards meet the expectation of our clients who are eagerly awaiting to be among the first to sit behind the wheel.