Three design students from Coventry University will be making the grade thanks to the Concept Climax project they've been developing for 18 months. Despite having not graduated yet, the trio has developed a two-seat mid-engine concept that they hope will reinvent the British sports car.

The Concept Climax, which gets its name from the Cooper Climax F1 car of the 1950s, is a purist's roadster with no doors and a flip up windscreen. The highly original shape evokes stripped out racers of the past with a 21st century update.

A flat four-cylinder engine capable of running on ethanol and producing 270 bhp powers the car. The concept also draws heavily on F1 technology by allowing the driver to tinker with the fuel intake via a laptop and adjust the ECU using what's called "Climax Control" and a USB key.

While the current concept is not a runner, a working prototype will be ready by the summer of '07, and the team of design students hopes to eventually produce about 50 units annually at the price of £35,000 (USD $65,000).

(Check out more pics after the jump)

[Source: Concept Climax via PistonHeads]

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