Back in May of this year we heard about a competition put on by GrabCAD, an online engineering community, and 500 Group, a think tank for new products. The challenge was to create a body for a new supercar that would be built on an existing chassis using GM Performance parts and the LS3, LS7 or supercharged LS9 V8 engines. (Maybe they should also consider the new LT1 engine… just saying.)
In that original post, I admittedly got a little harsh about letting engineers act as designers. I made the argument that when that happens, we’re left with cars like the Accord and Camry. Excellent vehicles, but they don’t have much in the way of personality.
We heard yesterday from a representative of the 500 Group who wanted to set us straight.
The rep let us know that the intent wasn’t to have the engineers design the body, but instead to become part of the team that would develop the car. GrabCAD members submitted their proposals, and four of them were accepted as members of the development team. Even cooler, the car will be street-legal and is pretty deep in the development process. So deep, in fact, that it lapped the Nurburgring, without wearing any bodywork, in about 7 minutes. Horsepower output was measured at 694. With a dry weight of about 2,200 pounds, that’s more hp per ton than street-legal cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. Check out this video of the ‘Ring run:
Testing of bodied pre-production cars will happen in 2013, followed by the regulatory approval process. The ultimate goal is to provide exhaustively developed midengine street cars at a fraction of the price of current supercars.
That’s certainly a hard outcome to argue against!
Of course, as we hear more details, so will you.
A midengine supercar priced well below the competition but without any brand recognition. Interested?