Colin Chapman's legacy of "adding lightness" has filtered down to many followers, from Lotus to Caterham and now to Zenos. Started by a pair of former Lotus and Caterham execs, Zenos unveiled its first model based on its innovative carbon and aluminum backbone chassis earlier this year at Autosport International, fully embracing the less-is-more ethos. But now it's announced an even more powerful version of the Zenos E10.
Called the E10 S, it's essentially the same vehicle, only instead of the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four with 200 horsepower, it upgrades to a Ford EcoBoost unit with 250 hp – good enough to send the flyweight track toy to 60 in under 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed in the region of 135 miles per hour. Buyers will also be able to choose between the standard model or add on the Track Pack with its limited slip differential, upgraded rolling stock, adjustable dampers and more.
In correspondence with Autoblog, Ansar Ali – who started Zenos with his former right-hand man at Caterham – described the sensation of driving the E10 S as "blinding," and we hope to get a chance to experience it first hand sometime in the near future.
Pricing for the turbocharged model in the UK starts at £29,995, or about £5k more than the existing naturally aspirated model that sells for $39,500 in America. So expect a US MSRP of about $47,500 for the E10 S, plus another $5k or so for the Track Pack. Although the S model is visually indistinguishable from the existing E10, we've assembled a fresh gallery of high-resolution images for your perusal above.
Zenos Cars announces the introduction the Zenos E10 S, a more powerful version of its highly acclaimed E10, which uses a 2.0-litre Ford GDTI (Ecoboost) engine producing 250bhp with a power profile that will ensure the E10 S is the natural choice for discerning road and track driving enthusiasts.
The company, co-founded by Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, who previously were CEO and COO respectively of Caterham Cars, specialises in the design, manufacture and retail of ultra-lightweight razor sharp handling sports cars. The E10 S, a new stable mate to the E10, is priced at £29,995 (including VAT) and its introduction reinforces the company's commitment to deliver high performance, exceptional handling sports cars at affordable prices (E10 prices start at £24,995). The E10 model is the first of three models to be introduced by the company over the next 5 years.
During Ali's and Edward's time successfully leading Caterham through a recession and then taking it into F1, and prior to that their time at Lotus Cars, they have observed increasing vehicle weights, higher entry prices, escalating repair costs and distant customer relationships; all this leading to the needs and wants of the true driving enthusiast being increasingly overlooked. Zenos Cars intends to deliver thrilling, engaging and affordable lightweight sports car experiences that go beyond simply driving a car; its principles are to design, assemble and retail high performance, ultra-lightweight and affordable sports cars, courtesy of intelligent vehicle engineering, efficient material technology and the application of 'form from function' design.
The E10 S – available in both RHD and LHD - is a road legal track focused step-in two seater with Elise type proportions. A 250hp mid-mounted transverse turbo charged 2.0-litre Ford GDTI engine drives the rear wheels. A range of transmissions and final drives have also been selected to match the various outputs developed for the engine package. Top speed is c.135 mph and 0 to 60mph is covered in less than 4.5 seconds.
A low vehicle mass is achieved thanks to the integration of a single 'backbone' aluminium extrusion with a carbon composite monocoque; this architecture delivers optimal torsional rigidity, and by utilising recycled carbon fibre with a novel thermoplastic core for the tub material, the Zenos platform delivers world class mechanical efficiency without the production – and replacement – costs normally associated with carbon-based supercars. Keeping to the theme of affordability, the front suspension connects directly to the front of the spine/backbone – minimising cost and mass – whilst the engine is encased in a rear extruded sub-frame that is removable to facilitate assembly and in-field repairs. Given the performance of the car, driver and passenger safety is paramount: a fully encased steel safety cell comprising of twin roll-hoops and side-impact bars is integrated within the carbon monocoque.
The E10 S has been designed from the driver out so simplicity and functionality is the order of the day. The cockpit's ergonomics accommodate persons ranging from 5'1" (155cm) to 6'3" (191cm) in height with both driver and passenger seated in bespoke Zenos seats. The driver's focus is further accentuated with a visual display directly behind the steering wheel that communicates essential driving information, whilst in the middle of the dash is another larger screen that will include a choice of road or track data display.
The versatility, low investment demand and flexibility of the Zenos business model and its composite platform architecture has attracted considerable interest; the business has received grant support from the New Anglia Growing Business Fund as well as from the Niche Vehicle Network's R&D programme, an industry group for specialist UK vehicle manufacturers.
The E10 S is available in standard form at £29,995 (incl VAT) and with a Track Pack at £32,995 (incl VAT), where a 6 speed gear box, limited slip differential, Zenos composite seats, 4 point race harness, quick release steering wheel, performance wheel pack, heated driver's seat and adjustable platform dampers are standard. Production of the Zenos E10 S will start in early 2015 and customer deliveries commence soon after.