The ATS Corsa RR Turbo Is A Lightweight Mid-Engine Race Car With A Power To Weight Ratio Of 2.86 lb/hp

The ATS Corsa is an all-new motorsport division handled by the Italian boutique car manufacturer Automobili Turismo e Sport. As a beautiful addition to its super-exclusive $1 million ATS GT, the company recently released a Honda-powered race car called the RR Turbo. The RR is a wonderful mid-engine race car destined to jumpstart the ATS Corsa’s motorsport endeavours in the following years.

Eligible for the German VLN, French VdeV and, all European hill climb competitions, the ATS RR Turbo, with its 780 kilograms of weight and 592 horsepower hopes to become the first choice for privateers and professional racing teams. As I was rather curious about the amazing power to weight ratio and the 2.0-liter Honda engine ATS Corsa RR Turbo has in the back, I spoke with Daniele Maritan, President at ATS Automobili Italia. This is what he told me.

Short Interview With Daniele Maritan, President of ATS Automobili Italia

Ever Wondered What a Honda-Powered, 600-Horsepower Race Car Looks Like? Exterior
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TopSpeed: Why did you choose a four-cylinder engine for the RR, instead of, say, a V-8?

Daniele Maritan: For FIA Regulations. We wanted to create a lightweight car, and with the V-8, it would not be possible. We have started from FIA regulations and developed a car around that. A four-cylinder engine is very light, and it allowed us to create a lightweight race car.

TopSpeed: Considering that Audi’s latest 2.0-liter engine for the DTM has only 187 kilos, is it possible that the weight of your engine is similar to that?

DM: Yes, the weight of our 2.0-liter Honda engine is around 190 kilos. I don’t know it by heart, but it is similar to the engines used in new DTM race cars. The engine has some similarities with the Audi DTM engine.

TopSpeed: When did you start with the development and when do you plan to test the car?

DM: We have started with the project past December (12/2018), but the first tests are scheduled for November this year. Currently, we are working on the engine. We have to design it all up to specification, and the first tests will begin in November.

TopSpeed: How much time do you need to build a car from order to delivery, and when do you plan to start with the deliveries?

DM: We plan to start building customer cars in December this year, and the first delivery is expected in February. We need approximately three months for the completion of one car.

TopSpeed: How many cars do you plan to build?

DM: We plan to build ten cars for 2020, and around 30 cars in 2021.

TopSpeed: Did you receive any orders for your cars yet?

DM: Yes, we did. Some customers saw the car during the reveal. We already have orders from Germany and the U.S., but we are still looking for new dealers. This car is different compared with the ATS GT that starts at $1 million. This car starts at €110,000. It is for a different group of people.

TopSpeed: Do you plan to create a road-going version of the RR Turbo?

DM: No! Our company does not plan to develop a road-going car. However, our dealer in Germany will create a road-going version with the TRW. One customer already ordered it. The dealer will probably convert even more cars to road-going specification.

TopSpeed: Do you know if the engine will remain as powerful for the road-going version?

DM: We are still waiting for homologation. It should remain as powerful, but at this point, we do not really know if the engine can fulfill emission requirements for road-going cars.

The ATS Corsa RR Turbo Is A Serious Racing Machine

Ever Wondered What a Honda-Powered, 600-Horsepower Race Car Looks Like? Exterior
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Created out of necessity to provide the European and global racing stage with the next generation of race cars, the ATS Corsa RR Turbo combines high-end automotive technologies with lightweight materials.

I am not saying that Daniele Maritan wants to revive the essence of Colin Chapman's cars from years ago, but with 780 kilograms of weight (1,720 pounds) and 592 horsepower, it is hard not to make this connection.

Weight And Exterior

Ever Wondered What a Honda-Powered, 600-Horsepower Race Car Looks Like? Exterior
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The ATS Corsa conceived the RR Turbo as a lightweight racer from the ground up. It all started with a uniquely designed, lightweight (88 pounds) chromium-molybdenum chassis. With some curious characteristics of a spaceframe chassis and the monocoque construction bundled into one frame, the architecture of the RR Turbo seems perfect for a lightweight body. As luck would have it, that is exactly what it got. Shaped to provide as much downforce as possible, the RR Turbo also makes use of a lightweight composite body. Invest a bit more, and ATS Corsa will make it entirely out of carbon-fiber.

The exterior shape of the car, obviously prepped for track duties, hides honeycomb panels that sit on the underside of the car.

At the back, they form a rear extractor. Above it, the ATS Corsa RR Turbo has a massive aluminum wing. Optionally, you can fit it with the tri-plane carbon-fiber wing for even more downforce but less weight in the back.

Suspension and Drivetrain

Ever Wondered What a Honda-Powered, 600-Horsepower Race Car Looks Like? Exterior
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As Autoblog reports, the ATS Corsa RR Turbo features a strong monoblock bell housing that supports the engine, the transmission, the suspension, dampers, wing mount, and exhausts. Interestingly enough, this solution adds a further stretch of credibility to ATS Corsa. This is a no-compromise racing car. The suspension is fully independent with:

  • Uni-ball adjustable double wishbones
  • Ergal monoblock wheel mounts
  • Fully adjustable Tractive shock absorbers
  • Active electronic Tractive shock absorbers (available optionally)
Obviously, 780 kilos do not need some massive, oversized brakes for stopping.

Nevertheless, the ATS Corsa prepped race brakes with 4-piston calipers with 335-mm steel discs in the front and 305-mm in the rear. Optionally, you can have something even more robust - Sicombraking provided carbo-ceramic 350-mm front and rear discs with 4-piston monoblock calipers. It all comes down to your needs.

Engine

Ever Wondered What a Honda-Powered, 600-Horsepower Race Car Looks Like? Exterior
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ATS Corsa chose a 2.0-liter Honda-sourced engine for the new race car. Completely reworked in-house, the engine gained forged pistons, a new Garrett turbine, and completely redesigned cylinder heads. During my talk with ATS president, he told me that the engine has some similarities with the new units used in the DTM (like that Audi engine I wrote about previously).

Inside the ATS Corsa RR Turbo, the Honda engine develops 592 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 391 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm.

You can control it via the 6-speed sequential 3MO FTX transmission linked with a limited-slip differential. Considering that ATS Corsa is yet to test the car on the track, performance figures are still unknown. I do believe, however, that a car sporting that power-to-weight ratio can achieve the performance of a supercar.

Ever Wondered What a Honda-Powered, 600-Horsepower Race Car Looks Like? Exterior
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That would mean 0-60 mph in three or so seconds and a top speed of just shy of 186 mph. Depending on the sequential transmission gearing, the ATS Corsa RR Turbo could be much slower at the top end. Imagine it prepped for hill climb competitions with short gearing. The top speed would be much lower, but the acceleration would be ferocious. All in all, we’re looking at one astonishing racing car priced just right to take on the European racing scene by storm.

2020 ATS Corsa RR Turbo specifications
Engine: mounted mid rear with Honda sourced 2.0 turbo
Horsepower 600 HP @ 8500 RPM
Torque 390 lb-ft @ 4000 and 7000 rpm
ECU: Hondata racing with traction control
Transmission: 6 speed sequential 3MO FTX as a stressed member with limited slip differential. Tecknogear paddle shifts.
Engine cooling: aluminium
Oil cooling: aluminium
Lubrication system: dry sump.
Drive: rear wheel
Clutch: copper reinforced
Exhaust: stainless steel
Wheelbase: 2,440 mm
Length: 4,700 mm
Width: 1,900 mm
Height: 1,030 mm

Further reading

2014 ATS Sport 490 Stradale Exterior
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ATS now has a street-legal racecar available. Too bad it’s not legal in the U.S.

Read our full review on the 2014 ATS Sport 490 Stradale.

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