Is not the first time we hear of a designer that used to work for a major automaker trying to launch a sports car of his own. The latest one is the ex-Caterham boss, Ansar Ali, who started the Zenos brand and wants to develop a new sports car based on the Lotus Elise -sized platform.
The new model currently goes by the name "Project E10," and is powered by a Ford -sourced 2.0-liter engine that delivers a total of 197 horsepower. Ansar Ali is shooting for the E10 to weight only 650 kg (1,433 pounds), so those 197 ponies should be enough to give the E10 a power-to-weight ratio of about 296 horsepower per tonne. For the future, Ali plans to offer more powerful versions too.
The new E10 is built on an aluminum-tubular chassis and features a body made from recycled carbon sheets.
More on the E10 will come as Ali and Zenos get close to releasing a concept, and we will keep you updated with all of the information as it rolls out.
Updated 12/18/2013: Zenos Cars officially confirmed today that the ultra-light E10 sports car will be officially unveiled next month at Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show, Autosport International. The E10 will go into production in late 2014 and first customers will receive their car in early 2015. More details on the Zenos E10 after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the Zenos E10.
The new Zenos E10 is powered by a mid-mounted 2.0-litre Ford engine that delivers a total of 200 horsepower. With a total weight of just 650 kilos (1,433 pounds), the E10 should deliver a power-to-weight ratio of 300bhp/tonne. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in less than five seconds.
The E10 was built on an integrated carbon composite monocoque and features a body made from 18 different panels. The entire length of the car features a backbone span made in aluminum for improved torsional rigidity, while the subframe will also be made in aluminum for increased protection.
Vuhl 05 is the dream machine of brothers Iker and Guillermo Echeverria, who started their automotive life with the design agency, Etxe. The 05 is built on a monocoque that weights just 171 pounds, and is powered by 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.
Gallery VUHL 05
The X-Bow arrived on the market in 2008 when it was powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-liter Audi engine. The latest addition to the lineup is the GT version, which gets a 2.0-liter TSFI four-banger that produces 281 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 309 pound-feet of torque at 3,200 rpm.
This output is enough to sprint the X-Bow GT from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and to a top speed of 231 km/h (143.5 mph).
Gallery KTM X-Bow GT
The world will meet the brand new ultra-light Zenos E10 sports car for the first time next month at Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show, Autosport International.
On 9-12 January at Birmingham’s NEC, the first model from Zenos Cars, a partnership between former Caterham Cars CEO Ansar Ali and COO Mark Edwards, will be unveiled along with pricing and additional technical details. Having also worked together at Lotus, Ali and Edwards have over 30 years of experience in the niche sports car sector.
Track focused yet road legal, the open-top, step-in, two-seater is powered by a mid-mounted 2.0-litre Ford engine producing 200bhp. Weighing only 650kg, it delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 300bhp/tonne and covers 0-60mph in under five seconds.
Beneath a body that’s set to consist of 18 panels, the unique chassis architecture lends itself to the Zenos name: a combination of ‘zen’ to represent purity, and ‘os’, loosely Latin for ‘vertebra’.
A single, aluminium extrusion ‘backbone’ spans the length of the E10, delivering impressive torsional rigidity, accompanied by an aluminium rear sub frame and a safety cell incorporating twin roll hoops and side-impact protection. The flexibility and low investment demand of the Zenos platform architecture has been recognised through a development grant from the Niche Vehicle Network.
The driver and passenger sit either side of the spine in an integrated carbon composite monocoque, constructed from recycled carbon fibre as a skin with a thermoplastic core; a lightweight, strong and cost-effective solution.
Autosport International exhibitors Alcon, Bilstein, Corebeau and Titan are among the partners involved in the project.
The E10 is due to enter production in late 2014, with first customer deliveries expected during the opening quarter of 2015. Based on the same chassis architecture, two further models are in the pipeline for the next five years, a Roadster, Project E11, and a GT Coupé, Project E12.
“The launch of the E10 at Autosport International will mark another major milestone in what’s been an exciting 18 months since work begun on Zenos Cars,” said co-founder Ansar Ali.
“Based on our experience, we know the sector and what drivers want, and with the Zenos E10 we have worked hard to develop a fun, engaging and affordable lightweight sports car. We’re looking forward to showing it to the world.”
With its E10 launch at Autosport International, Zenos Cars will be among more than 500 companies showcasing the latest in performance engineering technology at Birmingham’s NEC. Over £1 billion worth of new business in the sector was generated at the 2013 show, which includes two days dedicated to industry professionals, 9-10 January.
“Zenos Cars is a remarkably exciting company, that has attracted significant interest within the motoring industry in recent months,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director.
“With an impressive pedigree, the team has created an innovative and exciting package, including the use of recycled carbon fibre. We’re looking forward to hosting the launch of the E10 at Autosport International, and seeing the car for ourselves.”