America makes all sorts of cars, but dedicated track toys aren't usually among them. No, that's usually up to British companies like Ariel, BAC, Caterham and Radical. But that doesn't mean they aren't getting closer. The VUHL 05 comes to us from south of the border, and from the north, the new Magnum MK5. Not to be confused with the Dodge Magnum (which was also built in Canada), the Magnum MK5 is a new track toy that's been the subject of several teaser images and videos leading up to its reveal. But now it's out.

So what are we dealing with here? A lightweight track car measuring just 134 inches long (about the nimble size of a Japanese kei car) and weighing just 1,200 pounds dry. Power comes from an unspecified (but presumably motorbike-sourced) four-cylinder engine with an 11,000-rpm redline, located behind the cockpit and driving 250 horsepower through a six-speed sequential gearbox and limited-slip differential to the rear wheels.

With carbon-fiber bodywork and competition-grade aero, the Magnum MK5 is quoted to run to 62 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds and on to a 150-mph top speed while cornering at over 2 Gs. Best of all, while it's designed for the track, it's also said to be street legal – although with no roof or windows and a tarmac-embracing ride height, Magnum has made few concessions towards practicality beside the cargo compartment designed to fit a couple of crash helmets and a briefcase.

Magnum projects it will start delivering the first batch of 20 customer examples late next year with a $139,000 sticker price (before tax and delivery). Like what you see? There's more to digest in the press release below, so go nuts.

UPDATE: The Magnum MK5 actually measures 154 inches overall, not 134 as previously stated. In relative terms, that places it in between the length of a Lotus Elise and a Mazda MX-5.
Show full PR text
The Magnum MK5 officially unveiled.
The first track-focused street-legal lightweight supercar from Canada promises to be addictive.

Montreal, Canada, October 30, 2013

Created from a passion for motorsport in the late 60s, when original founder Jean-Pierre St-Jacques built Magnum's first formula racecar, Magnum Cars is now entering the lightweight supercar segment with the introduction of the MK5. The brainchild of his son Bruno St-Jacques, himself a well-rounded and successful racecar driver, the Magnum MK5 aims to offer an incredible driving experience; the closest that most will get to experiencing a real racecar.

Featuring impressive power-to-weight ratio of 460 bhp per tonne, remarkable handling with cornering forces of over 2Gs, second-to-none build quality, and cutting edge design, the Magnum MK5 strives on offering the ultimate excitement for all the senses, so that both driver and passenger can both enjoy the true feeling of a pure and exhilarating car. Having recently completed its development program, including 3 years of extensive track testing, the Magnum MK5 is now ready to be unveiled to car enthusiasts around the globe.

Dual Personality

The first creation from Canada to hit the international track-day car market, the Magnum MK5 is refined and exciting, perfectly wedging itself between expensive supercars and track-day cars.

"The MK5's amazing power-to-weight ratio delivers mind-blowing acceleration in the low 3-second range, while amazing handling conveys confidence and predictability which makes it is very easy to drive fast. We built the MK5 to offer the speed and agility of a racecar combined with the stance and refinement of a supercar, without the high cost of neither one." Points out Bruno St-Jacques, President and CTO of Magnum.

The Magnum MK5 is not only fast; it is equally versatile. From its cargo compartment that can easily accommodate two race helmets and a briefcase, to its street-legal amenities like full lighting and reverse camera, the Magnum MK5 can "bring it" both at the track or on the road. This reflects the MK5's dual personality.

The MK5's open cockpit "speedster" styling is perfect for both the thrills of trackdays and Sunday drives through mountain roads. The MK5's "rock star" stance will make owners feel right at home amongst luxury supercars during a night out on the town.

The Magnum MK5's styling is bold and innovative. The aggressive yet purposeful design blends sleekness with forward thinking: "We designed a car that owners can be proud of, with a styling that is pure and intricate. We want people to enjoy admiring the MK5 from every angle and keep coming back for another peek. We also wanted to provide an overall experience to make MK5 owners proud of being part of the Magnum family. With the MK5, it's not just about the car, it's about the awesome ownership experience," says Bruno St-Jacques.

The Magnum MK5 well thought-out mechanical simplicity has been developed to offer both easy adjustability and maintenance. Most components that require maintenance are sourced from well-known high performance brands and widely available for quick service anywhere in the world.

St-Jacques also states, "The MK5 is easy to maintain and, because it is built to take the abuse, [it] has very low running costs. It can easily be maintained by its owner or by any established sports car shop. It does not require a full crew or any special tools. You just jump in and drive!"

Exhilarating Performance & Bold Design

At the heart of the Magnum MK5 is a 250hp rear mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine that commands respect as the revs blast up to its chill inducing 11,000 rpm redline. Whether you want to tackle the track or enjoy the road, the intoxicating power delivery and high-revs, combined with the drivability and reliability of the lightweight powerplant, will suit different driving styles and moods.

The 6 speed sequential gearbox allows for lightning-fast shifts, up and down, while the perfectly positioned center-mounted shifter lever provides a level of involvement for the driver. Combined with a limited-slip differential, the Magnum MK5 provides remarkable acceleration.

Power numbers aside, the performance quality of the MK5 benefits from a well-balanced formula racecar type pushrod suspension geometry, with inboard 2-way adjustable dampers, front and rear. The unequal length double a-arm suspension works in harmony with ultra-high performance street-legal tires (225/40R18 front, 265/35R18 rear) mounted on 18-inch ultra-lightweight alloy wheels. Thanks to its light 1,200 lbs (545kg), the MK5 can generate racecar level cornering grip.

Braking performance is just as impressive. Front and rear 4-piston calipers and vented brake discs offer a decisive bite, yet smooth brake pedal modulation. The ingenious sliding pedal box, completely custom machined out of aircraft-grade billet aluminum, provides easy adjustability from a simple locking lever, to accommodate drivers of different heights without tools.

The menacing look of the Magnum MK5 styling has been optimized to be equally striking and efficient. Displaying functional aerodynamics like those found on Formula 1 cars and LeMans Prototypes, the light and strong carbon fiber composite bodywork of the MK5 provides a confident dose of downforce to help maximize performance. Developed with modularity in mind, maintenance is facilitated and repair costs reduced as bodywork sections can be easily removed or individually replaced.

The Magnum MK5's exterior styling extends into the cockpit where a modern look mixes with purposeful ergonomics. Designer-worthy CNC machined aluminum levers fall right in place, blending nicely with the race-inspired carbon fiber seats. Both driver and passenger are secured by 6-point racing harnesses. Great attention to details contributes to controls that are intuitive, while easy-to-read backlit digital gauges, with built-in GPS-enabled laptimer, are mounted directly onto the removable suede-wrapped steering wheel.

A Philosophy of Innovation, Performance and Excellence

"When we decided to get back to our roots of building cars, we agreed that the newest Magnum had to be exciting in every sense. Our racing background dictated the philosophy behind the MK5; our main objective has been to achieve an experience that is pure and as close to driving a true racecar, in a simple to use and easy to drive platform," says Bruno St-Jacques.

The purpose has evolved but the philosophy remains the same. The "St-Jacques" meticulous attention to details and the high level of craftsmanship can be seen in every aspect of the Magnum MK5. Beautiful and well-thought out components that have been precision CNC-machined out of aircraft grade aluminum are displayed like pieces of art. Benefitting from Magnum's immense expertise in machining components for different fields, including motorsport, for well over 45 years, the car is as beautiful under its skin as it is on the outside.

Bruno St-Jacques is quick to emphasize: "We only work with the best people in the business and we source only the best components. We are driven by excellence and believe it is of the utmost importance to offer our customers a product that does not compromise on quality, performance, or safety. We pride ourselves on offering a high-end product that surpasses expectations."

Delivering Awesomeness

Privately shown to interested parties within the last few months, the Magnum MK5 has already raised attention, from its very competitive on-track performance and its out-of-the-box styling. With pre-orders already taken, Magnum MK5's will be built on order at an initial annual production rate of 20 cars. Deliveries are projected to start by late 2014.

The Magnum MK5 price will start at $139,000 USD (excluding taxes and delivery). The base price includes many features such as carbon-fiber bodywork and seats, removable racing steering wheel, data-logger system, cockpit adjustable brake bias, rear-view camera & monitor, 6-point racing harnesses, fully adjustable racing dampers and anti-roll bars, ultra-high performance tires, 18-inch ultra-lightweight alloy wheels, and limited-slip differential.

Optional features including a variety of street and track packages will also be offered so that MK5 owners can personalize their car.

The MK5 is available for order as of today, October 30, 2013.

Specifications

PERFORMANCE
Power-to-weight ratio: 460 bhp per tonne
0-100 km/h (0-60 MPH): 3.2 second
Maximum speed: 240 km/h (150 MPH)
Handling: Over 2Gs of lateral force

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type: 4-Cylinder
Power: 250 bhp
Redline: 11,000 rpm
Configuration: Rear mid-mounted, rear wheel drive
Transmission: 6-speed sequential gearbox with reverse
Differential: Limited-slip

TECHNICAL
Bodywork: Carbon-fiber composite, easily removable front and rear sections.
Functional aerodynamics: Internal front wing, front splitter, flat underbody, rear diffuser
Cargo area: Fits two helmets and a briefcase
Fuel tank capacity: 35 liters
Fuel filler: Lockable billet aluminum
Length: 3,914 mm (154.1 in)
Width: 1,884 mm (74.2 in)
Height: 1,069 mm (42.1 in)
Dry Weight: 1,200 lbs (545 kg)

SUSPENSION
Type: Adjustable pushrod activated, double unequal length a-arms, front & rear
Dampers: Inboard, two-way adjustable, front & rear
Anti-roll bars: Adjustable, front & rear

WHEELS & BRAKES
Tires: Ultra-high performance, road-legal, 225/40R18 front & 265/35R18 rear
Wheels: 18", ultra-light alloy, front & rear
Brake calipers: 4-piston calipers, radial mount, front & rear
Brake discs: Ventilated discs, with CNC-machined aluminum hubs, front & rear
Brake bias: Cockpit adjustable
Pedal box: Custom CNC-machined hand operated sliding adjustable

INTERIOR
Gauges: Steering wheel mounted backlit digital dash-display, with integrated laptimer and data acquisition system
Steering wheel: Weather resistant suede, with quick release
Seats: Carbon fiber composites
Harness: 6-point, racing-type
Accessory: Rear-view monitor & camera

About Magnum | A History of Success

Created in 1968, Magnum Cars has made a name for itself in the motorsport world building open-wheel formula cars. Magnum racecars have been driven to success by several different drivers, including Formula 1 legend-to-be Gilles Villeneuve.

For more than four decades, Magnum's expertise has also been applied to developing and fabricating specialized parts for many kinds of vehicles from all levels of racing. With an impeccable reputation for precision work, original founder Jean-Pierre St-Jacques and the Magnum team were highly regarded by many, including Formula 1 teams, working with the likes of Lotus, AGS, Larousse, Williams, and Renault, to name a few, during the Canadian F1 GP weekends over the years.

Today, Magnum is making a statement with its latest project. With well-rounded and successful race car driver Bruno St-Jacques now at the helm, Magnum is entering a new segment of the specialized automotive world with a strong vision and focus: to offer an awesome driving experience and innovate in the lightweight supercar category using the latest technologies, techniques and materials, bold styling and a forward thinking mindset to pioneer a refined and innovative driving platform.

For further information, contact Jon Labbee, Public Relations, at media@magnummk5.com.
www.magnummk5.com


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      11fiveoh
      • 1 Year Ago
      Should be a different set of regulations for cars under a certain weight, say 2000lbs.
      Muttons
      • 1 Year Ago
      Radii are a designer's friend. This would look SO much better with a few of those detail corners rounded off a bit.
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Muttons
        Also think they should've used a light strip on the front to match the straight lines around the headlights, or maybe replace the headlights where they are..
      EZen
      • 1 Year Ago
      "America makes all sorts of cars, but dedicated track toys aren't usually among them. No, that's usually up to British companies like Ariel, BAC, Caterham and Radical." Oh my god, would you please stop ignoring Factory Five's WRX-based 818 and US Exomotive's Miata-based Exocet. Both are consummate performers, cheap, reliable, look great and have currently built examples, forums, videos on YouTube, real track times set, etc. The FF 818R just came in first at Watkins Glen ffs. It doesn't make any sense to drone on about a $140k track day car no one will buy or see when the 818R is released and $25k max, the 818S is $15-20k depending on options, and the Exocet in top spec is around the same, I believe. Hell, the Exocet you can go from Miata donor to rolling Exocet chassis in 4 hours!
        Bungle
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZen
        Note that they said "aren't USUALLY among them." I also assume that they meant production cars, not kit cars like the 818 and Exocet. Also, the latter was originally designed in the UK, just reworked in the USA, so it's not the best example of an American-made car.
      Mercer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Worth the price if it is legal on the road. If not, any Porsche or Corvette or M3 are better buy.
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mercer
        ???
        Bungle
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mercer
        Yes, because everyone has exactly the same automotive needs as you. Nobody buys a car exclusively for track use.
      Mxpress
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the design, but I think needs bigger wheels... or the same size but a wider rim... They don't seem aggressive as the car... Overall it's nice...
      Gianluca Gregis
      • 1 Year Ago
      550kg is impossible. Maybe 750!
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks great, but I'm very skeptical of their claims. Firstly, I have doubts they'll be able to make the finished product at 1200#. Weight goals are so easily and often missed. I just see a lot more on this car than 1200#. The Ariel Atom is 1350#, looks about the same size, has almost no body panels, and even less of an interior. If they do make it to 1200#, it will likely be dry weight. 2Gs of cornering is also dubious. For one, a peak G force, as recorded on some track which may even have a banked turn is not really a relevant measurement. Flat skidpad Gs are what matters to compare apples to apples. The Ariel Atom can do 1.08 G on a skidpad, which is pretty impressive. On a track it might record 1.5, maybe 1.6 peak. As recorded on a track, 2.0 Gs is really high, even for such a light car. This requires some serious aerodynamic downforce. I see nothing about this design which would give any significant downforce..
      sith33
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not street legal in the states though...
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Ryan Schneider
      • 1 Year Ago
      Logo looks like a Decepticon insignia.....
        Firefly
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan Schneider
        ...which probably clues us to its allegiance...
      h-man
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh another >$100,000 track toy!! Who cares. Seriously what's the market for these things? How many billionaires can there be? Factory Five has the right idea with the 818.
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