Any car that can list the incredible KTM X-Bow and Ariel Atom as competitors is a more than welcome addition in my book. And that’s exactly what the VUHL 05 (rhymes with ‘cool’) does.
It’s set up to debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, but last week we were invited to the fancy-schmancy Royal Automobile Club in London to take an early peek at the Mexican supercar. Oh, and the great Sir Stirling Moss just happened to be there.
Check out what we found…
Although it doesn’t have quite the same striking appearance as its track partners, it’s still a cool looking car.
Powered by a tiny mid-mounted turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine, the VUHL 05 manages an impressive 285 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque to drive the rear wheels. Considering the car only weighs 1532 lbs, that’s enough to allow the 05 to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in only 3.7 seconds and keep going until it hits 152 mph. Sure, it’s got the top speed of a mid-size sedan, but in a lightweight track car you care much more about how fast it gets there.
The VUHL only comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. While that allows a far better driving experience, I’m afraid that track day enthusiasts are going to want a quicker sequential gearbox to cut off as many tenths of a second as they can.
One of the nice things about this car, and you can tell just by looking at the photos, is that it’s bare-bones. The steering is old school rack & pinion with no power assist. There are no electronic nannies like stability control, ABS, or traction control. It will be a great thing to take to the track, but it’s also street legal.
If you want to shave off even more weight, you can choose a carbon fiber body to save an extra 55 lbs. Both seats are carbon fiber buckets, and don’t expect to find heated seats as an option. Windshields are pretty heavy too, so they just left it off.
There are some other options – a quick-release suede steering wheel like the one in the picture above, an electronic data-collecting dash system (thought that’d be standard,) an integrated HD camera, and if you want to get real fancy, a water-resistant suede interior trim.
Brakes are cross-drilled rotors surrounded by some nice looking OZ alloys, 17-inch in the front and 18-inch in the rear. Attaching all that to the car is unequal-length double wishbones front and rear. I imagine if you’re buying this car you’ll know why unequal length would be an advantage. Fell free to let me know.
The VUHL 05 will only be sold in the UK and North America in the beginning, although since it’s a road legal car, homologation into the States would be a tough one. Maybe they’ll only sell it as a track car in the US.
Pricing will start at around £60,000 (about $91,000 right now,) which seems a bit steep considering you can pick up a new (admittedly lesser-spec) Ariel Atom for half that. But it’s about the same as a KTM X-Bow and falls well below the BAC Mono.
VUHL says they only plan to sell 50 of these a year to the UK, starting in Spring 2014, so even with any objections I don’t think they’ll struggle to sell them. Hell, there are people that would pony up the £60,000 for the exclusivity alone.
Check out the photo gallery from the media launch below, and let us know what you think about the VUHL 05. Is it another good track day option, or does it fall short?
All photos by Christopher Burdick