VŪHL 05 mid-engine two-seater - front three-quarter view

This past spring we reported on the first rumblings of a new, small performance car company starting up in Mexico, called VŪHL (which stands for "Vehicles of Ultra-lightweight and High-performance). Development of the company's first product, the VŪHL 05 seems to be moving along nicely – we now have some images, specs and pricing information from the freshly minted automaker.

VŪHL had set out to make the 05 a car in the mold of super-lightweight track stars like the Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow, and the design and styling seem to have hit the nail on the head. The open-top car is built on a monocoque chassis that weighs just 172 pounds, and the dry weight of the full car tips the scales at just 1,532 pounds. A great start.

Powering the svelte 05 is a 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which has been tuned to produce 285 horsepower and nearly 310 pound-feet of torque. The punchy turbo engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, should give the VŪHL a 0-62 time of just 3.7 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 150 miles per hour.

VŪHL says in its press release that initial sales will be limited to the UK and North America, though it doesn't specifically mention the US. The price for the 05 is listed at 55,000 pounds sterling, which converts to right around $84,000 as of this writing, but no MSRP is given in dollars or pesos. First deliveries of the VŪHL 05 are now slated for the spring of 2014.
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VŪHL 05 –
AN INNOVATIVE NEW LIGHTWEIGHT SUPERCAR FOR ROAD AND TRACK


Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London, July 3, 2013 - the VŪHL 05 is an innovative mid-engined two-seater born of a motorsport heritage.

Guillermo Echeverria senior, the father of its designers Guillermo and Iker Echeverria, was a professional driver who built and successfully raced his own cars for 30 years. The sons inherited his passion and knowledge and added qualifications in transportation design. Guillermo Junior has direct experience of the performance car industry, while Iker won the Mexican QUORUM Industrial Design Award in 2007 when still a student - he was not only up against fellow scholars but senior designers, agencies and universities.

The brothers subsequently formed their own Mexico City/Detroit-based design agency, ETXE, which having worked on projects for numerous global brands then penned the 05 – a lightweight supercar for road and track in the vein of the BAC Mono, Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow etc.

Said Iker: "Our background means the VŪHL 05 has been developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We were determined to create a highly intuitive machine that was both stirringly fast and immense fun to drive – a car we ourselves would want to own. We have endeavoured to endow it with class-leading ergonomics and a contemporary silhouette of striking proportions, and the aim of uncompromising build quality has underpinned the project since day one."

Chassis/body
The 05's monocoque weighs in at a mere 78kg, while the dry weight of the entire car is a very competitive 695kg. The chassis comprises a three-section bonded tub constructed from aluminium extrusions and aluminium honeycomb - aerospace technology that endows the 05 with a remarkably high level of torsional rigidity for optimum handling. Bolted direct to the passenger cell is a chrome-moly steel subframe housing the engine and rear suspension. A three-stage forward crash structure and double layer sidewalls provide a matchless level of protection for the occupants. The standard body is made from RTM reinforced plastic, but carbonfibre is an option. The aero features include a flat underbody, front and lateral splitters, rear diffuser and rear spoiler.

Engine/performance
Power comes from a 2-litre version of Ford's award-winning DOHC turbocharged EcoBoost engine, the output of which is 285bhp and 420Nm of torque, giving a power to weight ratio of 400bhp per tonne. This results in a 0-100kph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 245kph.

Transmission/steering
The engine drives through a six-speed manual gearbox. Steering is by a high ratio rack and pinion system.

Suspension/brakes
The suspension is by unequal length double wishbones front and rear. Braking is by four-pot alloy callipers all-round, operating on 310mm ventilated cross-drilled discs at the front and 280mm units at the rear.

Wheels/tyres
The 05 rides on OZ alloy wheels shod with Michelin tyres; the sizes of which are 205/45 x 17 front; 235/45 x 18 rear.

Interior
The unique specification can include: carbon bucket seats; 330mm quick release water-resistant suede-covered steering wheel; electronic data acquisition dash; integral HD camera; and water-resistant Dinamica suede trim.

Dimensions
Width 1876mm
Length 3718mm
Height 1120mm
Wheelbase 2300mm
Ground clearance 110mm
Dry weight 695kg
Kerb weight 725kg
Power to weight ratio 400bhp/tonne
Weight distribution 37/63 (front/rear)
Pricing/availability
Orders are being taken now for delivery beginning in the spring of 2014. Pricing will start from c.£55,000 (plus tax, plus shipping). There is a wide range of performance options available to allow the 05 to be upgraded to personal taste.

Initial sales will be confined to the UK and North America (dealers are currently under appointment in both countries), but the intention is to make the car available in the other key European countries, China, Middle-East etc in due course.

For further information visit www.VUHL05.com.