Australian start-up Quantum Performance Vehicles has unveiled its very first car, and it has a one-to-one power-to-weight ratio, enough wing to drive upside down, and promises to “give the world’s top hyper cars a run for their money.” It’s called the GP700, and it’s the product of a 7-year-long development process between the father/son team of Jeff and Andrew David.

Based out of Gisborne, northwest of Melbourne, Quantum wasn’t shy in blessing its new flagship with some truly astounding stats. Here’s just a few: the power-to-weight ratio is 60 percent better than a Bugatti Veyron, there’s more longitudinal force during peak acceleration than a free-fall skydive (1.2 G’s vs. 1.0 G’s), there’s enough lateral grip when cornering at 180 km/h (112 mph) to approach the same forces experienced during the launch of the space shuttle (2.5 G’s vs. 3.0 G’s), and there’s enough braking force to rival landing on an aircraft carrier (2.0 G’s).

“The GP700 was designed with pure drivability and functionality in mind, from the aerodynamic bodywork to the pure driver-centric interior,” says Andrew David on Quantum’s website.

So then, it’s probably safe to assume the car will rip apexes like a monster truck pulling dandelions. However, the GP700 is also, amazingly, road legal.

Sounds like a winning combination, doesn’t it? Read on to find out if it actually works.

Continue reading to learn more about the Quantum GP700.

  • 2016 Quantum GP700
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed sequential
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    700 @ 7800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    482 @ 6500
  • Displacement:
    2.7 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    198 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    5 sec.
  • Price:
    695000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Quantum GP700 High Resolution Exterior
- image 632058
2016 Quantum GP700 Exterior
- image 632048
2016 Quantum GP700 Exterior
- image 632057

Aesthetically, the GP700 takes cues from a number of aggressive and adrenaline-inducing sources, like Formula 1 cars, fighter jets, and more traditional sports cars. Massive aero can be found at either end, while each of the four wheels is extended from the body in a distinctly racy fashion. The panels are curved and swoopy, with smoothed out lines that look like they belong on a runway rather than a highway. The cockpit is exposed to the elements, with a large roll bar hanging over the driver and passenger. Small headlight pods are fixed just inside the two front wheel arches, and there are mounting points in the wings for a couple of license plates if you decide to take this thing out for a gallon of milk.

The design looks stylized, but it’s all quite functional. According to Quantum, the shapes you see are actually the “culmination of science and meticulous analysis,” with “years of computer simulations and on track analytics” going into the shape. “As a result every curve, intake, and panel is designed to give the GP700 unparalleled handling when you’re overtaking on the track and comfortable drivability when you’re cruising on the road,” Quantum says.

According to Quantum, the shapes you see are actually the “culmination of science and meticulous analysis,” with “years of computer simulations and on track analytics” going into the shape.

Purposefulness can be found in two main areas: cooling and downforce. To keep the hot bits from boiling over, the bodywork channels air into the “primary” intake above the cabin space and the side pods just in front of the rear wheels. As an interesting aside, the GP700’s engine purportedly requires 28,000 liters of air a minute at maximum power, which is roughly equivalent to how much a person will breathe in two day’s time.

Not only does the GP700 gulp the atmosphere like a moon-sized Hoover, it manipulates it extensively for extra grip, incorporating a dual-element front wing and under-floor diffuser that work together to push the car into the road with 12,000 N of force at 280 km/h. That’s about 1.8 G’s of downforce, which means you could theoretically drive the GP700 upside down given the right tunnel. Even with all that extra downforce, Quantum claims that the GP700’s “efficient body design and diffuser setup” mean there’s no extraneous drag created. Furthermore, both the front and rear wings are adjustable, allowing for fine-tuning for whatever track you happen to be racing on.

Of course, Quantum also claims you can take the GP700 to your local circuit without the need for a trailer, so to help the driver and passenger reach their destination without a face full of bugs, the bodywork has been designed so that the air rushing by is pushed up and over the cockpit area, encapsulating the cabin space in a bubble of “static air.” According to Quantum, this design provides “superior visibility and comfort to the driver ensuring a smooth experience even when faced with 300 km/h winds.”

Quantum also claims that the 100-mm (3.94-inch) ride height makes the GP700 “an effective road car,” but personally, I’d still be mighty wary of speed bumps and angled driveways. Truth be told, mounting a composite wing less than four inches off the ground could spell disaster if you aren’t paying attention.

The 700 in the GP700’s name is a reference to both its engine output and curb weight, with only 700 kg (or 1,543 pounds) seen on the scales. This lack of mass is partly the result of the car’s diminutive size. It’s 162 inches long, 69 inches wide and 51 inches high. While far from being considered large, the GP700 is still heavier, longer and taller than the Ariel Atom, which weighs in at 1,350 pounds, is 134 inches long, and 47 inches tall. The Atom is also slightly wider at 71 inches.

However, 1,500 pounds is still undoubtedly in the realm of the bantamweights. To keep mass low, the GP700 uses a tubular chassis design made from aerospace-grade aluminum, carbon fiber, and Kevlar fiber. This does well to shed pounds, but also keeps the chassis stiff when undergoing extreme cornering forces.

As for paint options, you can pick up the GP700 in six different colors, including champagne yellow, purple-tinted blue, hunter green, orange-tinted red, silver grey, and gloss black. In my opinion, the purple-tinted blue and orange-tinted red are particularly good-looking, shifting hue depending on lighting and angle.

Exterior Dimensions

Weight 700 KG (1,543 LBS)
Length 4,125 MM (162.40 Inches)
Width 1,740 MM (68.50 Inches)
Height 1,300 MM (51.18 Inches)

Interior

2016 Quantum GP700 Interior
- image 632050

Like it’s exterior, the open cockpit of the GP700 is equally functional and hardcore, perfectly suited to the business of going fast on a race track. Quantum says it’s “simple, efficient, and pure, allowing you to focus on the drive,” and I’m inclined to agree. The first indication of this laser-like focus on exclusion of extraneous features comes when you go for the door handles – there are none. Instead, drivers and passengers must climb into the seats, stepping up and over the swoopy bodywork.

Drivers and passengers must climb into the seats, stepping up and over the swoopy bodywork.

Once “inside,” you’ll be able to fall into custom carbon fiber seats, which appear to have a fixed-back design and are nicely bolstered on the sides. Judging by the available photos, they also appear to be partly upholstered in leather or Alcantara. Surrounding these you’ll find bare metal elements of the chassis, polished to a gleaming finish. This finish is also extended to the central tunnel.

Sitting low, you’ll be strapped into place with “inertia reel” seatbelts, while six-point harnesses are available for extra support the moment you unleash this car’s maximum potential. A custom carbon-fiber steering wheel meets the driver’s hands, while a Motec C1 dash display feeds him pertinent data. This unit can also be programmed to individual specifications.

The C1 is integral to the car’s Predictive Traction Control system (covered in the following section) as it samples data and handles the real-time computations needed to shave precious tenths. In addition to the driver interface and electronic-performance-figure tracking, there are also numerous controls present to help make on-the-fly adjustments to the car’s various components, to deal with variable track conditions.

Drivetrain

2016 Quantum GP700 Exterior
- image 632056

As previously mentioned, the GP700 takes its namesake from its perfect one-to-one power-to-weight ratio, with only 700 kg of curb weight motivated by a hearty 700 horsepower at the rear wheels. This muscle is the result of a custom-built 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, which has been extensively modified to deliver an incredible wallop despite its relatively small size.

To make a four-banger this stout without the on/off delivery of a big turbo, Quantum decided to use a twin supercharger system, which boosts output by running the blowers in series. According to Quantum, “this provides much higher pressure than a regular supercharger without the lag of a turbo charger, resulting in a smoother and more powerful boost.” Makes sense, but it’s certainly one of the more exotic setups currently available. At max power output, the 700 horsepower requires six liters of fuel per minute, which means two fuel injectors per cylinder. You’ll also find two intercoolers, plus multiple radiators and oil coolers to keep it all running at the optimum temperature. It’s far from simple, but with 700 horses at 7,800 rpm and 482 pound-feet of torque 6,500 rpm, who can argue?

At max power output, the 700 horsepower requires six liters of fuel per minute, which means two fuel injectors per cylinder.

When properly applied, that output yields a McLaren P1-matching 0-to-60 time of 2.6 seconds. The GP700 can also hit 100 mph in five seconds dead, and reach a top speed of 200 mph. I guess all that wing doesn’t slow it down too much.

Of course, a one-to-one power-to-weight-ratio is, in Quantum’s own words, “traditionally a recipe for oversteer, tail slides, spins, and tire smoke.” To help counteract this, the GP700 was developed to be a “smart car that works with your driving style.” That means it comes with an in-house-developed Predictive Traction Control (PTC) system to keep those rear tires from running away from the unwary. By monitoring a slew of sensors placed throughout the vehicle, the PTC system self-adjusts to your particular habits, both good and bad, to render maximum punch without the Ken Block blooper reel.

Quantum offers a high level of customization for this system, with adjustments available for things like power levels (300 to the full 700 horsepower) and traction generation levels (“from straight as an arrow to full out drift mode”). Quantum also says it’s currently developing an app that will allow drivers to monitor their car’s performance and adjust a variety of settings for further fine-tuning.

The custom engine management system also adjusts noise levels and fuel consumption for track versus street use.

Routing the power is a transmission from Holinger Engineering, an Australian-based supplier of race components that’s been in the business of going fast for over three decades. HE developed a six-speed sequential pneumatic gearbox specifically for Quantum and the GP700, and using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles, upshifts are completed in a blink-and-miss-it 0.02 second. Alternatively, drivers can set the trans to full auto mode, which will perform up and downshifts without human input, keeping the four-cylinder on boil and letting the driver instead focus on his line. There’s also a clutch pedal for a more traditional approach if desired.

The GP700’s suspension system continues the theme of race-bred tech, with custom independent pushrod-actuated suspension at the front and back and a cockpit-adjustable anti-sway bar in the front. Quantum says each GP700 has its suspension tuned to the individual customer’s preference and is valved for optimum performance. Integrated is a custom Position Displacement Suspension (PDS) system that offers more consistency and predictability, although details of this system are currently unavailable.

Making the contact patches are uber-gummy Yokohama R-Spec tires, which are basically racing slicks that are somehow road legal. Finally, driver-adjustable dual braking systems from Wilwood are present in the front and rear.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Quantum 2.7L, 4 cylinder, twin supercharged
Power 700 HP @ 7,800 RPM
Torque 482 LB-FT @ 6,500 RPM
Top Speed 320 KM/H (198 MPH)
0 – 100 KM/H (62 MPH) 2.6 seconds
0 – 160 KM/H (100 MPH) 5 seconds
Transmission Holinger 6-Speed, Sequential, Pneumatic Box with Paddle Shift

Prices

While Quantum has yet to reveal a final price on its website, Aussie-publication Motoring.com.au has stated the GP700 is expected to list at an eye-watering $695,000. Motoring goes on to say that production will be limited to a very low five to 10 units per year.

Competition

Ariel Atom V8 500

2012 Ariel Atom V8 500 Exterior
- image 383777

Any discussion of cars like the GP700 would be sorely lacking without mention of the top dog Atom. Like Quantum, Ariel utilizes a minimalistic approach to driving enjoyment, eschewing such frivolities as body panels and a windscreen in favor of bare tubes and motorcycle-esque exposure to the elements. Also like the GP700 are huge aero elements front to back, but most interesting is the 500-horsepower 3.0-liter V-8 mounted directly behind the driver. Performance specs look like 2.3 seconds to 60 mph and a top speed of 168 mph. This machine is also street-legal, and is a comparative bargain at just $225,000.

Read our full review here.

KTM X-Bow GT

2014 KTM X-Bow GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 494437

Next to the GP700, the X-Bow is like some commuter-friendly ecobox, with stuff like doors and a windscreen in place for much more comfortable non-track use. Motive power is derived from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 281 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque, not to mention 28 mpg and only 189 grams of CO2 per km. Performance specs are understandably lower, with a 0-to-60 time 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 144 mph. But at only $100,000 a pop, you could buy one for every member of the family.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Quantum GP700 High Resolution Exterior
- image 632054

When it comes to insanely overpowered, open-cockpit track toys, the GP700 has a lot going for it. It goes like stink, sticks like glue, and really will hang with the best of the best in the performance world. Throw in the fact that it can even be used to take your mother-in-law to the airport, and things are looking good. I even think it looks pretty fantastic.

Its outrageous performance specs and highly functional design philosophy speak directly to what I love about the highest echelon of performance vehicles.

However, the biggest issue by a country mile is the price. If each GP700 really does end up costing $700K, it’s a tough ask in the face of similar products from Ariel and KTM that are offered at a fraction of that figure. And while it’s true the GP700 boasts a number of innovations (the PTC system and driver adjustability come to mind), that asking price is a just a bit too close to something like the $845,000 Porsche 918 Spyder. Hell, it even makes a half-million-dollar Lamborghini Aventador seem like a bargain.

But still, Quantum is only making a handful per year, so if exclusivity is required, this is the one to get. Production is expected to start in August, with a world debut slated for the Dubai International Motor Show. Marketing will take place on a worldwide scale, with left- and right-hand-drive versions available.

If the GP700 is a success, Motoring says we should expect to see a GT version two years down the road, plus a Mk. II version with a fully enclosed cockpit arriving some time in early 2018.

I, for one, hope it sells. Its outrageous performance specs and highly functional design philosophy speak directly to what I love about the highest echelon of performance vehicles. But if it were my money on the table, I’d probably look elsewhere.

  • Leave it
    • Probably very expensive
    • Road legal, but barely usable outside the confines of a race track
    • Quantum’s first car might equate to unseen problems
What do you think?
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