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One does not generally look towards Latin American countries when considering automobiles, let alone sports cars, the reason being obvious. One Mexican automobile startup is now out to break that stereotype view held by the world, by launching a production race car. That startup is Vuhl and its intent is clear from the fact that its first ever product, the Vuhl 05, will be revealed to the public at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013.
Vuhl, which stands for Vehicles of Ultra High-performance and Lightweight, was started by brothers, Iker and Guillermo Echeverria, with aid from several Blue Chip companies. What's more, Vuhl is even backed by the Mexican Government. Now, ahead of its first public reveal, Vuhl has released a few images and details about the Vuhl 05 roadster. 05 might sound like a strange name for their first car, but that is the number used by the brothers' father Alberto Chapa throughout his racing career, which makes the car a perfect tribute.
Vuhl 05 is a sports car that belongs to the same family of cars, which consists of BAC Mono, Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow among others.
Vuhl 05 certainly shares some design aspects with the BAC Mono, but it is a two seater, like the KTM X-Bow.
Vuhl uses a unique monocoque chassis, constructed by bonding three separate aluminium structures, which feature honeycomb panels and extrusions. The lightweight construction of the chassis results in it weighing just 78 kg.
For the body Vuhl uses RTM reinforced plastic, with a carbon fiber variant available as an option.
The final dry weight of the Vuhl 05 is 695 kg, which is less than the KTM, but more than the other two.
For the engine, Vuhl decided to rely on non other than Ford, for its famed 2.0 liter four cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine. This is the same one that powers the Focus ST hot hatch, among several other Ford models.
Vuhl has tinkered with the engine to coax it to produce 285 HP and 420 Nm, which translates to a power to weight ratio of 400 HP per tonne, which is once again more than the X-Bow, but less than the mighty Atom and the Mono.
Vuhl uses a six speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels
0-100km/h delivered in 3.7 seconds. The top speed achievable is 245km/h.
The 17 inch black frontal alloys are shod in 205/45 tyres, while 18 inch wheels wrapped in 235/45 tyres do business at the rear.
Production is scheduled to begin from November onwards, with the first deliveries set to begin from spring of 2014. UK and North American customers will get their hands on the Vuhl 05 first.
Starting price in the UK is £55,000.
The rest of Europe and important markets like China and Middle East will have to wait a bit longer. Strangely, there is no mention of it being offered in Mexico.
A few more beautifully shot images of the 05
The exposed headlamps add to the sporty look
The aircaraft style master ignition.
A closer look at the headlights