Up until now, the liberal use of carbon fibre in a vehicle was reserved only for the most expensive supercars. You had to spend at least six figures. But a British company called Zenos is looking to change that, with their new track-oriented R10 sports car.
Developed by a couple of former Lotus and Caterham engineers, the Zenos E10 is built almost entirely out of carbon fibre, but prices start at just £26,995 or around $38,500. That’s less than what VW changes for their Golf GTI, except you’re actually getting a purpose-built track weapon rather than a hot hatchback. That’s just the base model, too, with a 149kW (200hp) 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine supplied by Ford. It might not sound like much power, but it’ll rocket the E10 from 0-100km/h (0-60mph) in just 4.5 seconds. But if that isn’t fast enough, you can spend more if you wish.
The E10 S is powered by Ford’s 2.0L EcoBoost engine, delivering 186kW (250hp) and a 4 second 0-100km/h time for just £32,995 ($47k), while the top-of-the-line E10 R gets 350 hp for only £39,995 ($57k) and slashes the time to just 3.0 seconds – still less than what Porsche charges locally for their Boxster sports car. Every engine option in the E10 is Euro 6 complaint, while a 6-speed dual clutch transmission system will send power to the rear wheels. Zenos has even designed parts of their E10 to break off sacrificially in the event of an accident, in an effort to help lower repair costs, and they’ll also offer a warranty that covers use of the car on the track, because even though it is street legal, the track is really where it belongs.
Despite the E10 not going on sale until later in the year, prototype vehicles are being rolled out for testing purposes and one was even spotted in Morocco with Clarkson, Hammond and May. Zenos say they’re already working on a new E11 car and also an E12 coupe, which could be launched in 2018 – so expect to see more interesting things from the company in the future.