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Elfin’s Caterham Bashing ‘Type 5’ – (Global)

July 18th, 2008
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PressPortal has had the opportunity to have a sneak peek of what seems to be a new breed of Australian performance, the Elfin ‘Type 5’.

With less than three months before the company launches its new ‘Type 5’ (production name still under wraps), PressPortal met with Elfin spokesman Gary Beer, to gain some insight on the new model.

The ‘Type 5’ is a brand new car from the ground up, with buyers expected to get a new chassis, exterior styling, interior design and a newly sourced engine. We were lucky enough to be shown images of the new car, and wow, it takes the style of the existing MS8 and turns it up even more. I last felt this kind of excitement from the design of a track car when Lotus unveiled the now out of production 340R a number of years back.

Following on from the success of the V8 powered MS8 Clubman and MS8 Streamliner, the ‘Type 5’ will enable Elfin to go head to head with track cars such as the Lotus Elise, Caterham 7 and the Ariel Atom.

Whilst Elfin are keeping the ‘Type 5’s’ official details under wraps, we were able to squeeze out some very interesting facts. Expect a weight of approx. 750 kg depending on spec level with a 4 cylinder engine to produce around 200kW of power and 350Nm of torque. Pressportal predicts that the power plant will be sourced from General Motors and is most likely to be the engine that currently powers the Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT / Saturn Sky Redline in Europe and America. In these cars the 2.0L turbocharged engine produces 260bhp and 260ft-lb. These performance figures in the featherweight ‘Type 5’ will be breathtaking to say the least.

The vision for the new model came from Tom Walkinshaw who has owned the bespoke manufacturer as well as Holden Special Vehicles (think Brabus to Mercedes Benz) for the last few years. Tom lives in the UK and saw the growth in his own country of 4 cylinder engine track cars and thought, “Why isn’t Elfin playing in this field?”

The previous 4 cylinder Elfin, the Type 3 went out of production when the MS8 range entered production in late 2006.

Whilst GM designer Michael Simcoe penned the MS8 (the guy who headed up Holden design around the start of the decade and is credited for the beautiful Holden Monaro / Vauxhall VXR Monaro), the new ‘Type 5’ styling is the work of the key HSV designers Julian Quincy and Adam Dean Smith.

So how much will buyers expect to pay for this kind of performance? This is where it gets really exciting. Elfin is targeting a remarkable price of only $65,000 in Australia! For reference the similar weight Lotus Elise costs $69,990 for the 100kW ‘S’ variant, $94,990 for the 141kW R variant and $104,990 for the 163kW ‘SC’ variant. The ‘Type 5’ although road legal, will be positioned closer to a pure track car making the track only Caterham SVR 200 (priced at $107,700!) a better fit as a direct competitor.

Elfin is watching the dollar closely before deciding on a price for the UK market and will disclose this after the Australian launch.

Watch out Caterham!

 

 

Lotus Elise Supercharged

Elfin ‘Type 5’

Caterham SVR 200

Power

163kW

*200kW

147kW

Torque

211.8Nm

*350Nm

225Nm

Weight

870kg

*750kg

677kg

0-100km/hr

4.6sec

*3.7sec

3.9sec

Price

$104,990

*$65,000

$107,700

*PressPortal prediction and approximates


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