It's been a while since we've heard from Korea's Oullim Motors, creator of the Spirra – the country's first legitimate supercar. And when we say "supercar," we aren't talking about some Mitsuoka Orochi-like creation that looks exotic, but is powered by a weak engine. Quite the contrary – Spirra is the real deal. The official details about Oullim's pride and joy have gone through many revisions over the past few years, but the automaker has just now released the final specs, and might we say, it certainly packs a punch.
Power comes from a mid-mounted, Hyundai-sourced 2.7-liter V6 which makes 175 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque in the base Spirra N model. Not impressive, we know, but as you climb upwards in the model range, that's where things start to get tasty. The Spirra S adds a small turbocharger to that mill, resulting in 330 hp and 347 lb-ft, and Spirra T uses a larger turbo which ups output to 400 hp and 362 lb-ft. At the tippy-top end is the Spirra EX ('EX' for 'Extreme' – seriously), and its twin-turbo V6 cranks out a screaming 500 hp and 398 lb-ft, making this car capable of competing with the likes of Lamborghinis and Ferraris. All models are fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, and power is sent solely to the rear wheels.
The base Spirra N will run from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a ho-hum 6.8 seconds, but obviously, that number decreases as you add more power, and the EX will run that same jaunt in only 3.5 clicks, on its way to a top speed of 193 mph. And when you consider that the top-rung model only weighs in at 2,646 pounds, it means that this thing is certainly poised to be a real stunner when pushed hard. The Spirra is made up of a carbon fiber body mounted on a tubular spaceframe, and each car is built by hand. Combine that with large wheels (18s for N and S models, 19s for T and EX) wrapped in sticky tires and fitted with beefy Brembo brakes, and you've got a real winner on your hands.
Now then, Oullim – when do we get our test drive?
Follow the jump to read the complete details in the automaker's press materials, and scroll through the gallery below to see high-res shots of the Spirra from all angles.
[Source: Oullim Motors]
- Ultra stiff tubular spaceframe structure
- Lightweight full carbonfiber bodywork
- Midengine layout for optimum weight bias
- Bespoke handcrafted assembly
- Genuine racing technology adapted for road use
- Lightweight, high performance V6 Turbo engines
History in brief
The history of the Spirra dates back to the beginning of the 1990s when Han-chul Kim and his wife Ji-sun Choi, both talented automotive experts, quit their jobs in leading Korean car companies to establish 'Proto Motors'.
Proto Motors was an automotive R&D firm specializing in developing advanced automotive concepts with industry clients and soon after settling down as a startup, ideas for a domestic developed supercar started to blossom.
Over several years, what began as an enthusiastic set of ideas developed into a full blown development project. In 2001, the 'PS-II' prototype was presented to the press with full commitment to bring it into production.
The difficulties in establishing a small scale, hand built production line of such exotic cars in an industry purely adapted to mass production was so great, the project saw several crisis that would nearly force it to a halt.
In July, 2006, Dong-hyuk Park, CEO of Oullim Group established Oullim Motors, absorbed Proto Motors and reshuffled the project to keep in on course for launch. In the end, it took a decade, 4 generations of complete re-engineering, certification and rewriting of legislature to bring our dream to the road.
As of March 2010, all legislature, homologation and certification was cleared for full production. We are expecting our first cars to be delivered this summer.
Why venture into volatile territory?
The geographic distance from Europe means that the European supercar ownership experience here is quite different to what manufacturers originally intended. It is marred by limited number of servicing centers, significantly higher repair costs due to shipping parts and having to ship the entire car to Europe for extensive damage repairs. This is inconvenient regardless of cost.
As of 2009, Korea is the fifth largest car manufacturing company in the world. But despite the history and technology in the auto manufacturing sector, we never did and still don't have a proper performance car that represents our country. Therefore, we set to establish a supercar brand of our own by introducing bespoke car manufacturing and servicing in Asia and become a permanent player in high performance Asian supercars.
There's no point in speed if a supercar is unable to make people's heart race. Supercars are irrational, emotional cars and from the very first glimpse, a supercar shouldn't look ordinary. It should look extraordinary.
A dominating presence is the key to supercar design and we worked hard to achieve a look like nothing else from Korea. A new standard to which future Korean performance cars would be judged against.
The Spirra's design is aggressive in stance and proportion, but less aggressive in the details. This look is intended to inspire excitement, but not completely shout that it is a supercar. An elegant and natural looking supercar design was what we were looking for.
Full carbonfiber bodywork over tubular spaceframe
To meet our own performance standards, the Spirra had to be constructed as light as possible through a full carbonfiber body over a tubular spaceframe. Both are technologies beyond the realm of mass manufacturing due to high costs and difficulties in automation essential for mass manufacturing. The entire process is done by hand by our team of professional craftsmen and mechanics.
The benefits from all this effort is a very light and stiff construction which is useful for responsive high performance capabilities as well as providing superior impact protection to match the performance the Spirra is capable of. This type of technology is adapted from racing for the road and is a completely a unique approach to vehicle development compared to the existing Korean auto industry.
V6 Turbo engines for superior power to weight ratio
The stiff lightweight construction meant that we could rely less on the engine's power for performance to become a more efficient kind of performance machine. During development, the engine was changed from a naturally aspirated V8 for a turbocharged V6.
This would keep the engine's weight down to a minimum and still provide V8 levels of power as well as being kinder to the environment. Combining the lightweight construction with our turbocharged V6 results in an astonishing 2.4Kg/HP power to weight ratio. This design not only yields very quick straightline performance, it absolutely dominates in the corners with less weight to throw around. Extra grip is provided by 225/40R 19 front tires and 275/40R 19 rear tires.
Motorsports proven performance and engineering
Many of the technologies incorporated in the Spirra are derived from racing technology. The Spirra was developed with serious performance in mind and in order to make sure this design is completely functional, racing was part of the car's development program.
We took one of our prototypes with minimal homologation changes to race in the domestic GT Masters Championship taking two consecutive wins against such rivals as fully race prepared Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, BMW M3s and Nissan 350Zs.
Experience from racing was applied back in our roadcar development by improving various aspects of the car such as suspension tuning, engine mapping and cooling.
Sophisticated Craftsmanship to ensure quality and precision
The same design principle applies to the interior where one can find full leather treatment throughout to maintain a high quality feel but without inhibiting the joy of driving. The driving feel is a higher priority than speed or luxury. The interior is designed to retain that balance between luxury and function.
Each Spirra is completely hand assembled by our team of professional craftsmen and mechanics in our dedicated production line. This production method ensures that each car meets our strict requirements in quality and precision.
The Spirra is our first of many future generations of supercars. Therefore, our efforts are concentrated in ensuring that our standards meet the expectation of our clients who are eagerly awaiting to be among the first to sit behind the wheel.