This yellow hottie from down Mexico way is the Mastretta MXT – you may remember it from the racially charged Top Gear kerfuffle earlier this year. Built on a bonded aluminum chassis very similar in concept to that of the Lotus Exige and Elise, it is a rare home-produced and conceived sports car from the heart of Latin America. Mastretta is located about a quarter-hour outside of Mexico City limits in Ocoyoacac.

Currently on sale in Mexico and Europe, the edgy package is based on said British bonded alloy chassis with a carbon fiber floor panel and rear engine cradle. The body is all composite construction and the MXT hugs the earth on 17-inch Toyo tires.

The MXT's current powertrain is a 2.0-liter turbocharged affair mounted transversely in back, good for 247 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 257 pound-feet of torque peaking at 3,950 rpm. Sourced from Ford, it's the formerly Mazda-engineered pre-EcoBoost unit that was used in hotter Focus and Fiesta units worldwide until recently. At just 2,100 pounds, the 0-60 time is quoted at 4.9 seconds. Click through to the jump to continue reading.

General Manager Carlos Mastretta tells us that the Mastretta MXT at present sells for the equivalent of $58,000 in Mexico, and he insists that once the car is sellable in the rest of North America, that that price will remain intact for us, too.

The trick is that in upper North America – i.e. the U.S. and Canada parts – clients will get the chassis and body assembly sans engine and transmission. After getting their inert sports cars, customers can choose essentially whichever 2.0-liter T-ish engine they might desire, thus the car can qualify under the "specialty" homologation loophole group with relaxed emissions and crash test cost hurdles.

Mr. Mastretta has an interesting family legacy that should add a nice bit of brand equity to the MXT effort. His father was at the polytechnic university in Milan, Italy, in 1931 and '32 as a student, where he was instructed by young engineering professor Enzo Ferrari. Hence, says Mastretta, the very real Italian influences behind this effort.

With any luck, we'll be driving the MXT in Europe in January using our French connections. We're eager to see what she's like and to decide if North Americans could warm up to a semi-locally produced track day two-seater with an interesting pedigree.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Csaba Szalontai
      • 3 Years Ago
      the car looks like a Smart Roadster on steroids. Looks crazy! LOVE IT!
      • 3 Years Ago
      When did Mexico leave North America?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like it. It's light and quick, but we'll really know how good it is when we start to hear some lap times.
      The Angry Intern
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought it said Maserati in the headline at first
      • 3 Years Ago
      This "refresh" is not as successful as the original.........Open headlights, terrible black wheels, black intake and yellow instead of the orange paint.......
      • 3 Years Ago
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      SpecTACOlous performance. Id love to really step on the GAS pedal and give it the beans. It will Burri-to competition and jump across the border into true sports car territory. Really ponchoes above its weight class. Ok... I'm all out. Anyone got any more? Tortilla later if you salsa up with some good ones.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Usually I am open minded, but for God's sake please don't!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very cool, but why didn't they use a better engine? I would be very interested in something like this for 38K. Would make a great track car. I'd promptly put a 4G63T in there and enjoy 400-500 hp from a much better 2.0 liter motor though. Considering production cars with the 4G63T were making 290hp in 2006, this is almost an embarrassing horsepower number for something considered "serious".
        • 3 Years Ago
        Oh look, Acid is once again referring to his Evo.... WOULD YOU SHUT UP ABOUT YOUR EVO, ALREADY?! And seriously, read the article again. They will import this to the US in pieces, and it will give you the chance to pick which engine to use. You don't have to go with the Ford engine that you hate so much.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Skyline tail lights. R8 ish quarter. Hideous side profile in above the front and real wheel arches.. Looks fun as hell though.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That thing is one fugly looking car. If they asked more than price of a Taco Bell burrito, it's a rip off.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not according to Road&track, selected as one of the top 10 cars of the LA show.... stay with Taco bell, that is all you can afford! lol
      Michael Munoz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want this car just to say its mexican american jst like me!
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