Vuhl finally unveils its 05RR open-top power-to-weight monster
Although 385 horsepower might not sound like a lot, when your car weighs just 675 kg (1488 lb) dripping wet it means you're in for a cheek-flapping 2.7-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). Mexico's feistiest road-legal track car is about to hit the street, and it looks like an absolute blast.
With a lot more power and a fair whack less weight than the Vuhl 05, the 05RR has a sky-high power-to-dry-weight figure of 600 bhp/tonne that beats out even the open-wheel Ariel Atom 4. The Vuhl takes a similar philosophy to the Ariel – a tiny, lightweight, uber-fast, massively grippy track toy for the road – but where Ariel tends toward the affordable with its machines, Vuhl tends much further toward the top end of the market.
The engine in the 05RR is a 4-cylinder, 2.3-liter DOCH turbo. As well as 385 horses, it makes a healthy 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque, deployed to the standard Michelin Cup 2 tires through a Sadev 6-speed sequential shift transmission.
The 05RR's chassis is a carbon/aluminum hybrid monocoque that can be optioned up to full carbon status – you can also opt for carbon bucket seats either side if you like, or Schroth 5-point racing harnesses. The suspension is track-focused Bilstein 2-way adjustable damping with Eibach springs.
Aerodynamics-wise, you're looking at a flat, smooth undertray with front splitters, side skirts, a lewdly curvaceous rear diffuser and largish spoiler – but a top speed of just 255 km/h (158 mph) means the Vuhl won't be able to take advantage of high-speed downforce as much as some of the wilder supercars we've seen lately. It matters not – you're still in for as much as 1.8 G of lateral acceleration in the corners just due to how light and grippy this thing is.
Teased back in 2016 and unveiled at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico city ahead of last weekend's Race of Champions, the 05RR is now on sale at an undisclosed price that is likely well north of double the Ariel Atom 4's US$52,000 price-tag given that the standard Vuhl 05 goes for about US$90,000.
The Atom will be just about as fast and as much fun in the hands of most drivers, but the Vuhl looks a million dollars in its outrageous fluoro carbon livery – and both are capable of embarrassing supercars many times more expensive on a twisty road or racetrack with their outrageous acceleration and handling.