This vehicle’s been around but we couldn’t believe that it fell through the cracks without much of a notice from us. But hey, better late than never, right? This is the Tiger Aviator, an advanced, road and track racer straight from the world of the Caterham 7 and the Irmscher i-SELECTRA. These three models may look the same, but there are plenty of differences that come with the Aviator, most specifically its cheap price compared to its contemporaries.
Sure, it might not be as powerful - or has an electric powertrain like the i-SELECTRA - as its contemporaries, but it does offer plenty of qualities that should make the purchase, if you intend to buy one that is, well worth the money.
And hey, if for nothing else, the car looks the part of a retro roadster that offers plenty of bite to go with all the options it comes in based on customer preference.
Details of the Tiger Aviator can be found after the jump.
Tiger Racing is a small, family-run kit car company that formed back in 1989. It has manufactured seven road and race vehicles, and have since begun producing their own vehicles such as their first creation, the Aviator.
Exterior and Interior
At first glance, the Tiger Aviator doesn’t appear to be all that different from the Caterham 7, or even the Irmscher i-SELECTRA, but looks can be deceiving. The Aviator features plenty of unique styling elements, including two rear tires that are completely covered by the car’s body and appear to have been pushed in compared to the 7 and the i-SELECTRA.
It also features a more aggressive nose and bonnet, a dash scuttle, a dash face, an aero screen, a rear panel, a boot lid, and a top rear wing panel, to name a few of its components. The roll bars behind the seats are also similar to the 7 and different from the individualized design of the i-SELECTRA.
Inside the Aviator, Tiger outfitted it with a pair of high back seats, each coming with the company’s logo. For safety, Tiger opted to add four-point harnesses instead of the traditional seat belts found on cars. There’s also a Mountney steering wheel, an interior mirror, two wing mirrors, and a comprehensive instrument panel.
In the interest of variety, Tiger is also offering eight different color options for the Aviator, including Red, Yellow, Lime Green, Orange, White, Sky Blue, Oxford Blue, and Black.
The standard unit of the Tiger Aviator is powered with its own 2.0-liter ERA-powered Ford Duratec engine that produces anywhere between 190 to 260 horsepower - with the right upgrade - and mated to a new Type 9 gearbox. This engine also comes with a Webber Alpha management and Tiger mapping system that allows it to hit 0-60 mph time in just 4.4 seconds. Prospective customers can also choose to upgrade the powertrain system depending on their preferences.
The Tiger Aviator can be purchased either in single packs or as a complete model. To have a better understanding of how the pricing is broken down, Tiger has come up with a list of the prices for each of the car’s individual components.
| Item || Price in GBP || Price in USD* |
| Starter Kit || £2,683 || $4,406 |
| Steering || £387 || $635 |
| Bodywork || £1,300 || $2,135 |
| Suspension || £824 || $1,353 |
| Cooling || £412 || $676 |
| Front and Rear Brakes || £675 || $1,108 |
| Handbrake || £168 || $276 |
| Lighting || £329 || $540 |
| Instruments || £460 || $755 |
| Drivetrain || £775 || $1,273 |
| Fuel || £2,105 || $3,457 |
| Duratec Engine || £3,899 || $6,403 |
| Duratec Exhaust System || £675 || $1,108 |
| Interior || £612 || $1,005 |
| Miscellaneous || £540 || $887 |
| Total || £15,844** || $26,017 |
* - USD conversion based on current exchange rates
** - VAT not included
When taking into account the available options for this market, it’s best to keep a close eye, not just on the car’s performance capabilities, but also the price tag that it attracts. On that note, we’re going to leave the Irmscher i-SELECTRA off the table because it’s asking too much from our savings for the opportunity to own one, even if it’s the only one with an electric powertrain.
As for the Caterham R500 Superlight, the materials used on that car look to be a little more on the upper-scale, but at the end of the day, the powertrain options of the Aviator allow it to reach the same output of the R500 Superlight, making it an easier sell compared to the more expensive Caterham version.
For pretty much the same thing, we’d rather spend less than $30,000 instead of shelling out twice that much for a Caterham.
Engine upgrades takes it to Caterham levels
Brand name isn’t as popular
The RS500 Superlight looks better
Do you really need one?