Built around an extruded aluminum backbone with a carbon-composite safety cell, the Zenos E10 (two additional renderings of which we've added to the gallery above) is targeted to weigh just 1,433 pounds. Like so many British toys, it'll be track-focused but road-legal, with power coming from a 2.0-liter Ford engine with 200 horsepower. Production of the E10 is scheduled to begin late next year for the first batch of deliveries to commence at the beginning of 2015, to be followed by the E11 roadster and E12 coupe. More details are available in the press release below.
The world will meet the brand new ultra-light Zenos E10 sports car for the first time next month at Europe's largest dedicated motorsport trade show, Autosport International.
On 9-12 January at Birmingham's NEC, the first model from Zenos Cars, a partnership between former Caterham Cars CEO Ansar Ali and COO Mark Edwards, will be unveiled along with pricing and additional technical details. Having also worked together at Lotus, Ali and Edwards have over 30 years of experience in the niche sports car sector.
Track focused yet road legal, the open-top, step-in, two-seater is powered by a mid-mounted 2.0-litre Ford engine producing 200bhp. Weighing only 650kg, it delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 300bhp/tonne and covers 0-60mph in under five seconds.
Beneath a body that's set to consist of 18 panels, the unique chassis architecture lends itself to the Zenos name: a combination of 'zen' to represent purity, and 'os', loosely Latin for 'vertebra'.
A single, aluminium extrusion 'backbone' spans the length of the E10, delivering impressive torsional rigidity, accompanied by an aluminium rear sub frame and a safety cell incorporating twin roll hoops and side-impact protection. The flexibility and low investment demand of the Zenos platform architecture has been recognised through a development grant from the Niche Vehicle Network.
The driver and passenger sit either side of the spine in an integrated carbon composite monocoque, constructed from recycled carbon fibre as a skin with a thermoplastic core; a lightweight, strong and cost-effective solution.
Autosport International exhibitors Alcon, Bilstein, Corebeau and Titan are among the partners involved in the project.
The E10 is due to enter production in late 2014, with first customer deliveries expected during the opening quarter of 2015. Based on the same chassis architecture, two further models are in the pipeline for the next five years, a Roadster, Project E11, and a GT Coupé, Project E12.
"The launch of the E10 at Autosport International will mark another major milestone in what's been an exciting 18 months since work begun on Zenos Cars," said co-founder Ansar Ali.
"Based on our experience, we know the sector and what drivers want, and with the Zenos E10 we have worked hard to develop a fun, engaging and affordable lightweight sports car. We're looking forward to showing it to the world."
With its E10 launch at Autosport International, Zenos Cars will be among more than 500 companies showcasing the latest in performance engineering technology at Birmingham's NEC. Over £1 billion worth of new business in the sector was generated at the 2013 show, which includes two days dedicated to industry professionals, 9-10 January.
"Zenos Cars is a remarkably exciting company, that has attracted significant interest within the motoring industry in recent months," said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director.
"With an impressive pedigree, the team has created an innovative and exciting package, including the use of recycled carbon fibre. We're looking forward to hosting the launch of the E10 at Autosport International, and seeing the car for ourselves."