Mexican go-fast carmaker Vühl is six years old, having introduced its road-legal, track-focused 05 in 2013. Since then we've seen the 05 ROC Edition as the car of choice for the Race of Champions from 2017 to 2021, and the hardcore 05RR that debuted in January of this year. U.S.-focused details, dealers, and pricing have been hard to find, however. That's all changed, with Vühl's two principals making the trip to Monterey Car Week to talk up their charge and deliver the first U.S. car to a Miami buyer, and naming two dealers in California.
Commercial partner ISSIMI in Redwood City, Calif., handles specialty sales for paid members and car collectors, and is very particular about what gets listed and how. Technical partner Black Shadow Motors in Temecula, Calif., focus on sales, repair and restoration of niche cars, and puts all three Vühl models on display on its website. The entry-level 05 starts at $112,000.
That money buys a 1,609-pound car with a bonded aluminum chassis that sits 4.3 inches off the ground, covered by glass fiber body panels, moved along by a 2.3-liter Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder with 320 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Options for those building blocks include a carbon hybrid chassis and body panels, and a Stage 2 tune to 360 hp and 358 lb-ft. Acceleration to 62 miles per hour clicks off in 3.7 seconds using the six-speed manual — our guess is that the base tune achieves that figure — and top speed is 155 mph.
The 05 ROC Edition starts at $127,000, the extra money applied to a standard carbon and aluminum moncocque chassis and carbon fiber body panels. The only engine tune from the 2.3-liter EcoBoost comes with 360 hp and 358 lb-ft, working through a six-speed manual. That motor has to move a roadster that's 1,532 pounds and gets more robust track components, aero kit, and spec parts for the race series. The output drops the 0-to-62 time to 3 seconds. Performance upgrades include slotted rotors front and rear, wider Michelin Super Sports in back, a higher and more substantial rear wing, a standard Schroth five-point harness, and a higher top speed at 170 mph. Feature upgrades include a smaller Momo steering wheel and a color dash display.
The 05RR opens up the bidding at $147,500. The hybrid carbon and aluminum chassis gets a honeycomb structural floor and carbon fiber body panels, which help drop 77 pounds for a curb weight of 1,455 pounds. Even though the 05RR shares the same 4.3-inch ground clearance as its siblings, the powertrain's been lowered in the chassis for improved center-of-gravity and grip, and a slightly better weight distribution of 41/59 front-to-rear. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four gets its hairiest tune, at 400 hp and 370 lb-ft, dropping the sprint to 62 mph to just 2.7 seconds through a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission. Improved performance gear includes two-way adjustable Bilstein dampers and high-rate Eibach springs, a faster Titan steering rack, and even wider front and rear Michelin rubber. Top speed holds at 170 mph.
Based on the Black Shadow Motors details, our U.S.-spec 05RR doesn't benefit from the full 143-pound weight loss touted by the manufacturer, but it's possible the performance justifies the top-shelf pricing.
For comparison, the street-legal Ariel Atom 4 packs a 2.0-liter Honda engine with 320 hp and 310 lb-ft into a tubular steel frame and home-built looks, gets to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and starts at $74,750. The non-street-legal KTM X-Bow makes a better visual comparison to the Vühl, its carbon tub, 2.0-liter Audi engine with 295 hp and 310 lb-ft, and 1,800-pound curb weight taking 3.3 seconds to hit 60 mph, maxing out at 150 mph, and starting at $104,500. We suddenly have a strong need for a three-way track test.