Thursday, 8 August 2013

Vuhl 05

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

How many cars can you name that are built with pride in Mexico? Well, there's the Type 1 VW Beetle, the Type 2 camper, and... er, is that it?
No, not any more. Now we can add the Vuhl 05 to the list.

Prounouced 'Vool', this aggressive little road-racer looks sort of like a KTM X-Bow that's been told to comb its hair because its grandma's coming to tea. In isolation, the styling is outrageous, but the fact that this one was parked next to a KTM at the time SuckSqueezeBangBlow was poking around it did sort of take the edge off. Still, by any measure it's an impressive contraption: it's got a mid-mounted 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost engine, offering 285bhp and 310lb ft, which is a heck of a lot in a bare-bones car that weighs under 700kg. This leads to around 400bhp/tonne, a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds, and a very rapid way for the rushing air to comically rearrange your facial skin.

Rather brilliantly, it's been engineered for character as much as pace. The chaps behind the project, the Echeverria brothers, chose the Ford engine because it 'sounds like a 1970s Cosworth unit', while the overarching ethos of the project was to 'feel like an Elise'. Heady aspirations indeed, but by all accounts these aren't unrealistic ideas. The attention to detail on the car is impressive too - there's an HD camera that allows you to record your laps and download them from a USB port, there's a thing on the keyless fob to hold the petrol cap so you don't drop it, there's a secure cubbyhole in the dash to hold the fob so that it doesn't fly out of the car on the first corner... they've put a lot of thought into the 05. It's not just another quick track toy - it's a car to show the world that Mexico is a credible engineering and manufacturing entity. And in that respect, it's a surefire winner.

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