"I'm not an engineer. I'm an electrician," Luc Chartrand admits through his thick Quebecois accent. I believe him. Chartrand, a former karting and stock-car driver, is the lone designer, engineer and founder of HTT, a Montreal-based supercar upstart, unveiling the first prototype of his 11-year masterwork at SEMA: The Plethore LC-750.
Comprised of a carbon fiber architecture and body with an integrated (and supposedly soon-to-be) FIA-certified roll-cage, the Plethora could be the first production vehicle simultaneously approved for both the road and the track, and since high-level competition is close to Chartrand's heart, it's a necessity -- he wants to see the Plethore competing in the American LeMans series.
To hang with the big boys at the upper echelons of motorsport, the Plethore has to be more than a lightweight body (2,535 pounds) and a massive stance (89 inches in the rear). So Chartrand has mounted the Corvette ZR1's LS9 longitudinally amidships and tweaked output to 750 hp. As with all start-ups, HTT plans to offer an even hotter version to the public, putting out a claimed 1,300 hp with the help of a set of turbos.
Currently channeling all that grunt to the ground is a six-speed manual, but there are plans to offer a six-speed sequential gearbox along with a limited-slip differential. Double wishbones are fitted at all four corners to keep the 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) wheels in constant contact with the ground, with AP Racing brakes sized 15-inches in front (six-piston caliper) and 13-inches (four-piston caliper) in the rear.
Although the astronomical output and production-intensive architecture are the cornerstones of the project, the interior -- with its central mounted driving position, room for two occupants (sounds familiar) and roof-mounted switchgear -- are some of the more impressive details. That, and the hydraulically actuated doors, which swing upwards and close at the touch of a button.
Chartrand claims that production will begin sometime late this year, with a price tag of around $600,000 for the standard, 750-hp version and close to $1m for the 1,300-hp variant. Bold claims, but Chartrand isn't stopping there. "I want to design a helicopter next. It's my other love."