• Jul 29th 2010 at 1:00PM
  • 39
Smyth Performance G3F concept – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is the tri-directive that could help us become more sustainable as a society. Soon, a kit for the G3F from Smyth Performance – a new venture by Factory Five Racing co-founder Mark Smith – will follow those guidelines, enabling you to convert a previously-enjoyed Volkswagen Jetta into something you can really look forward to driving. The finished product will be lighter, faster and burn less biodiesel than the original vehicle, offering up to 60 miles per gallon and boasting a very naughty top speed of 140 miles per hour. All for about $10,000 and less than 100 hours of labor.

It's a simple recipe. You start by procuring a TDI diesel Jetta four door sedan. Cut away about 800 lbs of metal, reusing a large chunk of the chassis, including the entire safety structure. The engine gets chipped, modded and moved from in front of the driver to behind. Add the body, seats, wheels and all the other included bits from the kit and voila! You now own a recycled VW that increases your joy of driving while reducing the amount of petroleum product you'll need to pump.

Okay, maybe we're making it sound a little easier than it actually is, but Smith is confident there is enough interest to make a go of it with a line of depositors already being formed. Despite deliveries (optimistically) planned for September, the original prototype is still under construction. The operation doesn't have an official website either – that's coming this fall – but you can follow the progress of both car and company on both Facebook and the unofficial Factory Five forum. Hit the jump for video of Mr. Smith explaining his concept and tell us what you think.

[Source: Boston.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like where this is going!!!! Good luck to Mark Smith, and his company Smyth Performance. Awesome idea. Take a boring looking Jetta TDI, trim off 800 lbs, give it a sporty look, move engine to the rear, and you get a 60+ mpg sports car, that is quick and fun to drive. I see a lot of awesome here, and hope this works out for them.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the fact it should be fun to drive combined with looks most people will like will help it a lot. If the build quality and comfort are at least as good as the original Jetta, we have a winner for the dream commuter! Not too pricey either (less than $40k?)
        • 5 Years Ago

        I really like this idea/concept. 800 pounds removed really will help performance. I hope the execution is as good as it sounds in concept. I wish more car manufacturers thought about smaller lighter commuter cars that get good MPG but are also fun to drive. Most cars on the road in the USA have 1 person in them at a time. Not EVERY car has to keep growing with each model cycle to make it hold 4 or 5 fat americans.
      • 5 Years Ago
      WOW. I'm sold. Great looking, with great MPG's. Doesn't get any better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      deliveries (optimistically) planned for September

      What year? Because it won't be this year or the next. No molds, no jigs, no prototype for testing..... nothing! Only a hacked-up half finished concept car.

      A year from now the story will be about early depositors suing to get their money back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cobbled appearance aside, this is an **awesome** concept. Seems like they're making the BlueMotion since VW didn't want to.

      Dropping a FWD powertrain in the trunk is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get the combination of supercar performance with compact commuter reliability.

      While a chipped TDI is still not going to be a real screamer in a balanced, well-sorted chassis it wouldn't matter that much.

      This would be a perfect commuter that you can still enjoy on the weekends.

      The obvious problem will be whether or not they can make the chassis well sorted and what it'll actually cost. Custom builds like this tend to be ~30k on top of your purchase price. For something like 50 to 60 grand you could probably do better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Awesome concept, though after looking at the pictures, (im29 especially) it looks like a Toytoa Celica to me. I'm not sure if that is the intent or not but it's similar lines and headlamps hint at that for me. It'd almost be further ahead to get a celica (1998 or so) and reset it as a mid engine and use the VW's TDI and it'd be similar in a way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      pics to the prototype http://b.shaw.home.comcast.net/~b.shaw/g3f/proto_oh/

      it actually does not look that bad at all...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I tend to look over the rough spots of a pre-build and can picture the end results...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really did you go through all the images?

        It looks pretty bad to me. The construction looks more like it was done in a "make it up as we go along" fashion. It looks like it is built out of wood/duct tape and spare bits of metal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My first thought was that this could be a relatively cheap, fun track-day car. But thinking it through, I wonder about the balance of the car. The Jetta is a is a front-engine, front drive car. I'm assuming when the engine is moved, the transmission goes with it and drives the rear wheels. That would put a good portion of the engine and all of the transmission behind the rear wheels with nothing up front to balance it out (save maybe the radiator?). I guess once the design specs are produced, it will help answer that issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know about that. Look at the picture. There can't hardly be anything behind the rear axle centerline. Rear biased, sure. But not like an old VW with the air cooled engine hanging way out back. With proper location of battery, fuel tank, etc they might be able to keep it reasonable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Driveshaft is behind the centerline of the drivetrain right now. When you move the engine to the back, that doesn't change.

        So, even though it's currently front-engine FWD, when it gets moved to the back, it'll be mid-engine RWD.

        Same setup as a Lotus Elise, Toyota MR2, or Pontiac Fiero.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Could the vr6 engine be used also, don't like a 4 banger diesel, sounds like crap.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 1.9 TDI sounds like crap? Says who?

        I'm sorry, you'll have to speak up. It's loud in here, but not crap. With a new exhaust and the turbo winding up high, it'll be even better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Any of the original engines can be used. TDI, VR6, 1.8T, whatever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks cool. VW should take a hint... faster, more eco-friendly, and desirable. If Smyth can do it for $10k, surely VW could do it for a lot less.
      • 5 Years Ago
      as a '01 Jetta owner this is a remarkable concept and brilliant design. Automakers should be looking at second-generation uses for older models. A conversion of this type at $10k is substantially less than purchasing a newer car. Also if you consider the amount of parts that are in good condition on a well-maintained used vehicle, it makes sense to re-use them.

      The Smyth vehicle is a rather interesting design, and as someone mentioned here most commuters are single passenger users and why don't automakers design cars for this purpose. Well, back in the 70's GM looked at the commuter car as a light-weight, affordable, 2 passenger and fuel efficient vehicle. What they came up with was the 84' Pontiac Fiero (I owned one '84-'94) and it worked despite the many mechanical issues that plagued the vehicle. I've been looking for an automaker to step up and re-visit an Fiero type design in this day and age, perhaps creating a true commuter vehicle that is eco-friendly and reliable.

      Mark Smith, good luck in your venture!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This reminds me of the old Herb Adams Jackrabbit kit car from the 80's. I always wanted on but this looks much more practical and fun.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i have full faith that this will be awsome and amazing

      Come on this is factory five. If you dont know who they are then you shouldnt comment on a kit car.

      They really engineer the hell out of everything they do.

      odds are its 4130 steel. Its very strong and is good enough for NASCAR frames as well as factory five other kit cars. and and unless your gun is made of stainless steel its made from 4130 or 4340 which is almost the same

      My company provides alot of 4130 round and square tube and 6061 sheet to roush racing.

      it has around 100k tensile strength which is pretty damn good. Wish it was seamless tubing but the cost would go up quite a bit.
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