Zenos Gets Grant To Develop Hybrid Version Of E10 R Track Car
Fresh off of celebrating the production of its 100th unit since production started 18 months ago, U.K.-based automaker Zenos is the recipient of even more good news after receiving a £250,000 ($326,000) grant from Niche Vehicle Network’s SME & Supply Chain Development competition to help the company develop a prototype hybrid version of its acclaimed E10 R track car.
The research and development project is part of a nine-month program that calls on Zenos to develop a hybrid powertrain for its track cars in order to meet increasing emissions regulations that are likely to be put in place in the near future. Currently, the automaker’s entire range of E10 models, including the E10 R, uses a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, including the E10 R. The grant isn’t meant to influence Zenos from cutting the production of its E10 family of track cars, or stopping it altogether. Instead, the grant was given to help the company look into the future layout of the industry where hybrids, EVs, and self-driving cars are being touted as the norms rather than the exceptions.
A hybrid version of the E10 R will go a long way in gaining acceptance in that kind of future. and Zenos itself doesn’t have a concrete hybridization strategy as managing director Mark Edwards pointed out to Autocar. The grant it received from the British government can go a long way in helping the company create one for its future, even though there’s no actual commitment from Zenos that it could put a hybrid E10 R into production. But that’s the point of the grant; it’s meant to give the automaker a clearer picture on whether a hybrid version of the E10 R is worth the long and winding road to get there.
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Zenos Defies Skeptics, Builds 100th Car In 18 Months
Startup automakers often run into numerous problems on their way to becoming relevant in the industry. Some don’t even make it past the planning stages and those who end up moving past them encounter new sets of problems along the way. Then there’s Zenos Cars, a U.K.-based automaker that has seemingly defied all these odds after celebrating the delivery of its 100th vehicle.
Building that many cars in a span of 18 months is considered a preposterous for the industry’s established brands. But for a company that was founded just four years ago, it’s a massive accomplishment that’s worth celebrating. It’s especially true for Zenos, who saw one of its founders, Ansar Ali, leave for a job at McLaren. But after everything it’s been through, the relatively small operation has succeeded where a lot of startups have failed.
Delivery of the 100th Zenos vehicle, a 350-horsepower E10 R, was taken by its new owners, Matthew and Georgina Streeter, who actually traded up from their older E 10 S to get the top-spec E 10 R. As impressive as hitting that key milestone is, the company looks to be in good financial shape to the point that it already has a presence in 10 different markets all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America.
There’s no telling where Zenos goes from here, but if it continues to stay the course and build for the future, the next 100 units to be built should take less than the 18 months it took to build the first 100.
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In 2013, Caterham’s former CEO and COO, Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, revealed they have founded Zenos Cars, a venture set to develop lightweight sports cars that would rival those of the companies they had left behind. It took them only a few months to launch the E10, a 1,500-pound, 200-horsepower roadster that’s nearly as quick as the latest Lotus Elise Sport 220. About a year later, Zenos came up with a more powerful version named the E10 S. With 2016 around the corner, the British firm has launched yet another iteration of the E10, this time around bearing an "R" badge. And, as you might have already guess, it’s even more powerful and more track-focused than its older siblings.
Although it has a lot in common with the E10 S as far as styling goes, the E10 R is a radical approach of the former, being not only lighter, but significantly more powerful as well. The interior is also bespoke and features standard components you can’t have with the E10 S.
The new Zenos E10 R will initially become available as an exclusive Drive Edition, which boasts added standard features and custom exterior and interior. The sports car will make its global debut at the 2016 Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham, England. The event takes place between January 14th and 17th. Until that happens, let’s have our first look at Zenos’ new sports car.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Zenos E10 R.
Ever since Zenos introduced the E10 in 2013, I’ve been pretty intrigued about the company’s production plans. I knew that the E10 was a road-legal, track-focused sports car. I also knew that the company had plans for expanding its lineup in the future. Recently, that talk of expansion began to take shape with the unveiling of the E10 S, a faster and more powerful version of the E10.
Zenos was actually founded by ex-Caterham boss, Ansar Ali. The man started Zenos with the idea of building sports cars based on the Lotus Elise. While he’s still a ways away from getting there, he’s done an admirable job in building up Zenos with a line of models that now includes the E10 S.
Give it a few more years and we might see more Zenos models prowling the roads and tracks everywhere. For now, it’s the E10 S’ well-deserved turn in the spotlight. Smile for the cameras, you little track-ready racer.
Click past the jump to read more about the Zenos E10 S.
The Zenos E10 was unveiled just this month, and former Caterham boss Ansar Ali — the man behind Zenos — is already talking about developing the E11 roadster. The E11 roadster is expected to come out in 2016 and Ali has tipped its selling price as slightly more expensive than the E10.
We actually don’t know how much exactly the E11 is going to cost, but since the E10 has a price of £24,995 ($41,380), maybe the E11 adds another £2,000 or £3,000 to that selling price?
In any case, the release date is still a few years out, so if you’re thinking of getting one, you still have time to save up for that purchase.
Far more than just talking shop with sticker prices and all that, the E11 Roadster is being promoted as a track car that breathes unbridled power and performance — two things you always want to hear in what has become a competitive market. Zenos says the E11 has that in spades, not to mention the same Ford-sourced 2.0-liter engine that the E10 has. That powertrain is capable of producing a total of 197 horsepower in the E10, we’re not too sure what it’ll crank out in the E11.
Incredibly, though, the E11 already has customers — 23, in fact — that have already pre-ordered the roadster well ahead of its 2016 launch date. Can’t blame them for being eager when you’re talking about as unique a roadster as what Zenos is promising the E11 is going to be.
*Note: Photo is of the Zenos E10
Click past the jump to read about the Zenos E10
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.