wheels

18 September 2014 Last updated
Search

New cars

Track attack: VUhl 05 supercar revealed

By Dejan Jovanovic
Added 00:00 | July 12, 2013
  • Source:Supplied picture
  • The 05’s body is fabricated in Canada while chassis production and final assembly are done in Mexico.

    Source:Supplied picture
  • Source:Supplied picture
  • The 05 rides on OZ alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance Michelins — 205/45R17 up front and 235/45R18 on the rear.

    Source:Supplied picture
  • The Spartan cabin gets carbon-fibre bucket seats, a 330mm quick-release steering wheel, electronic data-acquisition dash, integral HD camera and water-resistant Dinamica suede trim.

    Source:Supplied picture

Another track-day toy appears from an unlikely source

We’re not exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to track-day toys. The majority of local apex hunters prefer modified road-going models such as the Mitsubishi Evolution, Subaru WRX STi, BMW M3, Seat Leon Cupra and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

On rare occasions the local Westfield and Caterham brigade occupies the Dubai Autodrome for a night of sideways fun, but generally an average track session consists of a bunch of randoms dodging race-prepared Radicals.

For the discerning few however, those few who prefer to stand out at The Dubai Mall’s valet parking lane as well as in the pit lane, the favoured option is importing a dedicated track-day special into the country.

This opens up a whole lot of doors and you are most definitely spoilt for choice — as our box on the right shows — with most of your options coming from Germany, Austria and the UK. But now Mexico is getting in on the act with a new entry into the niche track-day segment of the market from Vuhl.

Although we’ve seen specs of the Vuhl 05 before, the car’s Goodwood debut is actually its official public revealing, and the Mexican company took the opportunity to release more details on its corner-carver.

The mid-engined two-seater oozes motorsport heritage, says the brochure, but we admit we’ve never heard of the professional driver behind the 05, who additionally has a 30-year history of successfully building and racing cars. Guillermo Echeverria senior, the father of the 05’s designers Guillermo and Iker, boasts a lifetime in the pit lane, and his kids added their car industry experience and design qualifications to make this father-son project a reality. 
Not shy to immediately benchmark the Vuhl 05 against the KTM X-Bow, Ariel Atom and BAC Mono, Iker wants to make 
it clear this is a car developed 
by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. “We were determined to create 
a highly intuitive machine that was both stirringly fast and immense fun to drive — a car we ourselves would want to own,” he says. “We have endeavoured to endow it with class-leading ergonomics and a contemporary silhouette of striking proportions, and the aim of uncompromising build quality has underpinned the project since day one.”

The monocoque chassis weighs just 78kg, which helps to keep the dry weight of the whole car just below 700kg. Constructed from aluminium extrusions and aluminium honeycomb, Vuhl promises an extremely high level of torsional rigidity for the 05’s chassis, which additionally supports a chrome-moly steel subframe at the back to house 
the engine and suspension.

The body panels are crafted from composite-reinforced plastic, but if you pony up extra they can do you a body entirely in carbon fibre. Aerodynamics are taken care of with a flat underbody, front and side splitters, a rear diffuser and finally a rear spoiler.

The engine is lifted out of a Focus ST, but Vuhl has tinkered with the 2.0-litre turbocharged Ecoboost unit to free up 285bhp and 420Nm of torque (up from stock figures of 252bhp and 366Nm), giving a power-to-weight ratio of 400bhp-per-tonne. This results in 0-100kph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 245kph.

A six-speed manual is your only option, and thankfully the steering system is a proper rack-and-pinion quick-ratio set-up. Stopping is a job for 310mm discs up front and 280mm rears with four-pot callipers all round, shrouded by OZ wheels wrapped in track-dedicated Michelin tyres.

Inside things are only slightly less trick, with a simple 330mm quick-release steering wheel, some water-resistant trim and electronic dash plus an integrated HD camera.

Vuhl is happy to take your orders now with prices climbing from Dh300K, but Middle East deliveries are likely to start only 
in winter next year, just in time 
for apex-hunting season.