Automotive

Mexican VŪHL 05 supercar unveiled

Mexican VŪHL 05 supercar unvei...
VŪHL 05s top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph) isn't special compared to supercars but its handling capabilities should more than compensate
VŪHL 05s top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph) isn't special compared to supercars but its handling capabilities should more than compensate
View 22 Images
A modified, mid-ship 2.0 liter turbocharged EcoBoost Ford engine provides the VŪHL 05 with 285 bhp and 420 Nm (310 lb.ft) of torque
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A modified, mid-ship 2.0 liter turbocharged EcoBoost Ford engine provides the VŪHL 05 with 285 bhp and 420 Nm (310 lb.ft) of torque
VŪHL 05 uses aerodynamic tricks, like fixed rear spoiler, diffuser and fore and aft air splitters
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VŪHL 05 uses aerodynamic tricks, like fixed rear spoiler, diffuser and fore and aft air splitters
VŪHL 05 will sell for US$82,750 (£55,000) plus taxes and shipping starting early 2014 in the UK and USA
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VŪHL 05 will sell for US$82,750 (£55,000) plus taxes and shipping starting early 2014 in the UK and USA
The token windscreen has benefit of reduced drag but only marginal wind protection for passengers
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The token windscreen has benefit of reduced drag but only marginal wind protection for passengers
The VŪHL 05 is short and squat like a go-kart, but with the luxury of dual seats
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The VŪHL 05 is short and squat like a go-kart, but with the luxury of dual seats
A 6-speed manual gearbox, waterproof suede, carbon fiber seats, minimalist interior and only the most essential switches and gauges make it to the cockpit
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A 6-speed manual gearbox, waterproof suede, carbon fiber seats, minimalist interior and only the most essential switches and gauges make it to the cockpit
The power to weight ratio of 400 bhp per ton converts into 3.7 seconds for a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) run
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The power to weight ratio of 400 bhp per ton converts into 3.7 seconds for a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) run
The VŪHL 05's performance figures are impressive, as the vehicle tips the scales at only 695 kilograms (1,532 lbs)
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The VŪHL 05's performance figures are impressive, as the vehicle tips the scales at only 695 kilograms (1,532 lbs)
With slot-car looks inspired from 60s Can-am racers the open topped racer makes no visual pretenses about its track-directed mandate
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With slot-car looks inspired from 60s Can-am racers the open topped racer makes no visual pretenses about its track-directed mandate
The two seats fit the car's road and track inspired mandate
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The two seats fit the car's road and track inspired mandate
VŪHL 05s top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph) isn't special compared to supercars but its handling capabilities should more than compensate
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VŪHL 05s top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph) isn't special compared to supercars but its handling capabilities should more than compensate
Body is composed of RTM reinforced plastic but the carbon fiber body is available as an option
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Body is composed of RTM reinforced plastic but the carbon fiber body is available as an option
A chrome-moly steel subframe incorporates rear suspension components with the engine attached directly to the passenger cell
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A chrome-moly steel subframe incorporates rear suspension components with the engine attached directly to the passenger cell
Helmets are not mandatory but highly recommended
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Helmets are not mandatory but highly recommended
Fixed rear spoiler is of course standard to assist in providing downforce when needed
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Fixed rear spoiler is of course standard to assist in providing downforce when needed
Xenon lights are in place for night racing or an evening about the English countryside
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Xenon lights are in place for night racing or an evening about the English countryside
VŪHL 05 stands 1.120 m (3.6 ft) tall but is almost twice as wide as it is tall at 1.876 m (6.15 ft) across the hips
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VŪHL 05 stands 1.120 m (3.6 ft) tall but is almost twice as wide as it is tall at 1.876 m (6.15 ft) across the hips
Cockpit is an exercise in minimalism with only the most essential gauges and switches in place
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Cockpit is an exercise in minimalism with only the most essential gauges and switches in place
VŪHL 05 bodies are fabricated in Canada, with chassis production and final assembly handled out of Mexico City
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VŪHL 05 bodies are fabricated in Canada, with chassis production and final assembly handled out of Mexico City
Even the keyfob is minimalist art
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Even the keyfob is minimalist art
Weight distribution figures of 37/63 front-to-rear could make the car a bit of handful under extreme lateral transitionings
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Weight distribution figures of 37/63 front-to-rear could make the car a bit of handful under extreme lateral transitionings
Absolute minimal overhangs, front and rear, gives the VŪHL 05 a very tight aggressive profile
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Absolute minimal overhangs, front and rear, gives the VŪHL 05 a very tight aggressive profile

With their enigmatic new VŪHL 05, brothers Iker and Guillermo Echeverria are threatening to stamp Mexico on the supercar map. Unveiled to a select audience at England’s Royal Automobile Club, the lightweight track-racer debuted a week earlier than predicted.

Pegged by its designers as a dual purposed street-track racer, the VŪHL 05 was developed along the same principles as the BAC Mono, Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow. With slot-car looks inspired by 1960s Can-am racers, the open topped racer with a tiny windscreen makes no visual pretenses about its on-track mandate.

The car includes a highly modified 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine by Ford, mounted mid-ship provides 285 bhp to the rear wheels and 420 Nm (310 lb.ft) of torque. A quick consultation of the performance calculator suggests an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 400 bhp per ton, which on track converts to 3.7 seconds for a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) run. The top speed is 245 km/h (152 mph), but where the VŪHL 05 looks likely to excel will be in the twisty bits where it will eat up heftier racers.

A 6-speed manual gearbox, waterproof suede, carbon fiber seats, minimalist interior and only the most essential switches and gauges make it to the cockpit
A 6-speed manual gearbox, waterproof suede, carbon fiber seats, minimalist interior and only the most essential switches and gauges make it to the cockpit

A six-speed manual handles the transmission. Tire dimensions are 205/45 17 at the front and 235/45 18 beshodding the rear end. OZ alloy wheels provide the tires the support they need. The job of stopping the car falls to the 310 mm vented cross-drilled brake discs up front, and 280 mm discs at the back.

The power to weight ratio of 400 bhp per ton converts into 3.7 seconds for a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) run
The power to weight ratio of 400 bhp per ton converts into 3.7 seconds for a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) run

VŪHL 05s performance figures are impressive, but when considering the vehicle tips the scales at only 695 kilograms (1532 lbs), the importance of the power-to-weight argument becomes even more relevant. With a background in racing, the family Echeverria well understand the importance of weight reduction in a car of this type. The VŪHL 05 has a bonded tub of aluminum extrusions and honeycomb composition. A chrome-moly steel subframe incorporating the rear suspension and the engine is attached directly to the passenger cell. The body itself is composed of RTM reinforced plastic, but a carbon fiber body is available for those further bent on reducing track times (and the contents of their wallet).

The VŪHL 05's performance figures are impressive, as the vehicle tips the scales at only 695 kilograms (1,532 lbs)
The VŪHL 05's performance figures are impressive, as the vehicle tips the scales at only 695 kilograms (1,532 lbs)

The interior is an exercise in all-weather minimalism, with unfinished floors and side panels and only the most essential gauges and toggle switches. Optional interior designs include a water-resistant Dinamica suede trim, and one-piece carbon bucket seats keep passengers in place. A digital dash with data acquisition capabilities is there to provide feedback as is an integrated HD camera for recording and evaluating laps.

In addition to the usual aerodynamics like a fixed rear spoiler, diffuser and fore and aft air splitters, the VŪHL 05 has no roof and one seriously limited windscreen. Although the token windscreen has the benefit of providing reduced drag and weight, the shear absence of passenger protection from the elements guarantees a taste of the great outdoors. Helmets are recommended.

Weight distribution figures of 37/63 front-to-rear could make the car a bit of handful under extreme lateral transitionings
Weight distribution figures of 37/63 front-to-rear could make the car a bit of handful under extreme lateral transitionings

The VŪHL 05 is short and squat like a go-kart, but with the luxury of dual seats. It stands only 1.12 m (3.6 ft) tall, making ingress and egress tricky. The car is almost twice as wide as it is tall at 1.876 m (6.15 ft) across the hips. Double this figure and you get the overall length at just over 3.718 m (12.2 ft). The wheelbase is only 2.3 m (7.5 ft).

On paper, the VŪHL 05's size should equate out to one aggressively agile racer with effective handling. But weight distribution figures of 37/63 front-to-rear could make the car a bit of handful under extreme lateral transitions.

VŪHL 05 uses aerodynamic tricks, like fixed rear spoiler, diffuser and fore and aft air splitters
VŪHL 05 uses aerodynamic tricks, like fixed rear spoiler, diffuser and fore and aft air splitters

While the VŪHL 05 bodies are fabricated in Canada, chassis production and final assembly of the vehicle is handled by the Adman Leku manufacturing concern out of Mexico City. The VŪHL 05 will sell for US$82,750 (£55,000) plus taxes and shipping starting early 2014 in the UK and USA. Given the vehicle’s performance figures and handling expectations the low price tag might make this innovative little supercar a highly sought after item.

Source: VUHL

11 comments
Riaanh
WOW!! What a nice driving machine. No-compromised fun.
Richard Auchus
Rather have an Atom personally.
Bill Bennett
something to get across the border faster
Slowburn
Not bad but on the next model they need to put the rear axle a little farther back. They should also give it a pneumatic energy recovery system; low cost, light, and capable of delivering below ambient temperature air to the intake for extra boost.
The Skud
Oh, come on, Slowburn - The article already notes lightweight and good power to weight, it is a street/track racer, not a F1 or a Le Mans 24 job! Me, I am just waiting till they announce a coupe/cabriole version! Hmmm, gullwings, possible folding away roof, goes like stink, bring it on!
dandrews1138
Looks pretty sweet, but very inconvenient and uncomfortable. Did I seriously see un-padded solid carbon fiber seats?
Bruce H. Anderson
Styling is a matter of taste, but it seems awfully busy. I can't afford one, but wouldn't buy one if I could.
Griffin
"low price tag"? $82,750?? If you have to wear a helmet.... why not just buy a Ducati and pocket over $50,000? Seriously, I'd sooner buy a real race car and just make it street-legal.... that's what they've done. You can do that even cheaper than the Ducati route! A Boxster would be just fine. Once cars get cut on and stripped for racing, they lose all re-sale value. Look around,you'd be surprised at what you can find in the used racecar market. NASCAR&ARCA have even better deals on used race cars than SCCA! Even if you don't have a clue how to go about doing that, lots of us do. $82,750 can get you a truck,trailer,racecar,tools and spares if you shop around(maybe even a shop,if you're not too picky!) Tags in states like OR&AL can be under $200 and one piece of paper to get an old race car back on the road... My current project is already street-legal and I only have about $2,500 in the complete chassis/drivetrain.
Hamilton Roldan
Does it come in black!!!!.....LOL!!!!
Slowburn
re; The Skud What? It's about short highway on ramps. I'm not trying to push the speed to over 200 mph. re; dandrews1138 It said "one-piece carbon bucket seats". If the seat is shaped right and fits you padding is not needed for comfort. and in the event of a crash padding lets the restraints wonder around and that can kill you.