British car manufacturer numbers may have dwindled, but we still know how to make a ludicrously fast track machine you can use on the road, as Ariel and Caterham can prove. Now it seems we have another kid on the block in the form of Zenos Cars.
The Zenos E10 will be its first attempt at taking on Ariel, Caterham and Lotus. It’s a track-focussed machine that has two seats, a kerb weight of 650kg and the proportions of a Lotus Elise.
Its chassis is a carbon-aluminium construction. Because composite carbon fibre is vastly cheaper than its pure cousin, the Zenos E10 has more chance of being affordable, but not necessarily at the expense of performance and rigidity.
Power will come from a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre Ford engine that develops 200bhp and 155lb/ft (210Nm) of torque. That’s far less than the bonkers Ariel Atom V8, granted, but there’s every chance it’ll be a giggle nonetheless.
Zenos claims the E10 will do 0 to 60mph in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 135mph.
Expect a double wishbone suspension setup at the front and rear, with Bilstein dampers mounted in an in-board configuration ─ a technique used in Formula One cars. Sizeable brakes at the front and rear should help keep you out of a hedge.
As you would expect from a car designed primarily for performance, there are few luxuries. It has a pair of seats, some pedals, a “multi-function LCD driver display’ similar to the one in the Caterham AeroSeven Concept, and very little else. Windscreens are overrated anyway.
Zenos Cars may only be a few months old, and taking on well-established brands is always risky, but it has the know-how. A number of ex-Caterham staffers, including ex-chief executive Ansar Ali, ex-chief operating officer Mark Edwards and Chris Weston, make up the team.
“We are a British company and what we know, what we’re really enthusiastic about are sports cars; lightweight ones at that which are involving, uncomplicated and fun,” the website reads. “It goes without saying the cars we design, manufacture and retail have outstanding performance and handling thanks to innovative engineering and an openness to learn from the past.”
Based on the concept sketches, the Zenos E10 should look like a cross between a Caterham Seven, Vuhl 05 and the Batmobile. That’s us sold.
No word on a price but we would hasten a guess at somewhere less than £50,000 to keep it competitive. A roadster and a coupe model, called the E11 and E12, respectively, are said to be in the pipeline.
Zenos E-10 Pictures