A weight of under 1,800 pounds (815 kg), a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) under five seconds, and a production of only 40 examples – those sound like numbers that should appeal to many a car collector, especially when he focuses his eyes on the smooth, retro-inspired body of the Huet Brothers Coupé. The limited edition car is officially available for reservation, and the Dutch manufacturer is hustling to fill the remaining pre-orders it needs to begin production.
Huet Brothers introduced the HB Coupé concept car this past January, and has refined the design into a production-ready model. Each rear-wheel-drive Coupé is built atop a carbon monocoque that weighs less than 220 pounds (100 kg), lending way to a total weight of around 1,764 pounds (800 kg) – even when factoring in modern conveniences like the heated seats, airbags and touchscreen-based audio system.
With a weight that looks more like that of half a car, Huet Brothers was able to shrink the size of its original six-cylinder engine down to a 170-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder, to increase fuel economy while still maintaining a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration of less than five seconds. A tuned 255-hp 2.0-liter option gets there in less than four seconds.
Built with a spirit of nostalgia for the chivalry and ideals of the 1950s, the HB Coupé looks like it drove into the showroom half a century ago. The car was designed as a hard-topped daily driver answer to Huet Brother's Special roadster. While the look is a little forced here in 2012, it's hard to argue with simple, elegant curves in a world that leans toward busy, over-designed cars. It's nowhere near as pure and unforgettable as the original Jaguar E-Type, but it feels just a little closer to that level of auto ecstasy than Jaguar's own F-Type.
Huet Brothers plans to begin production of 40 handbuilt Coupé models in 2014. The Coupé Classic and Coupé Road Racer models can each be equipped with either the 170-hp or 255-hp engine for €67,800 (app. US$88,000) and €78,500 (app. $102,000), respectively. Each model is offered with a six-speed manual transmission, independent double-wishbone front suspension, independent multi-link rear suspension, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and leather interior.
The Coupé Road Racer is essentially a tweaked version of the Coupé Classic with larger wheels, a modified exhaust system and several different parts, including the front spoiler. Huet Brothers is also working on a third Coupé, the track-specific Coupé RACE. That model will not be street legal and will include a full roll cage. Huet Brothers is still working out powertrain details, and told us it's considering a 300-hp engine with F1 gearbox.
Huet Brothers opened up pre-ordering last month. It is trying hard to fill all remaining reservations to ensure it is able to move ahead with production. The company encourages those interested in the Coupé RACE to contact it directly.