Welcome to "About exotic cars". A news- and photoblog about exotic cars, common cars and car experiences.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Limited Edition: Lotus Exige S Club Racer
We already had the Lotus Exige S British GT as a limited edition but now Lotus has decided it was time for another limited edition. It's announced that Lotus will build a limited edition of the Exige S. It has been given the name "Exige S Club Racer".
The Club Racer will be limited to 25 units and sold on a first-come-first-serve base. Prices start at just under 40.000 pounds. Anyone who buys a car like this will get the oppertunity to go for a lap around the Lotus track in Hethel, Norfolk. Production for all 25 cars will start in September.
The car itself will be painted in a bright blue colour with three black stripes, one large stripe and two small ones. To make it extra special, you'll be able to find a Hethel track decal on the rear of the car. The interior will be a one-of-a-kind black leather and carbon fibre effect leather with unique colour coded stitches.
This is why we (at least most of us) love the Ferrari Enzo. The sound, the looks, the performance. It's even more exciting to see it in a city like Prague where you don't expect to see many exotics. This movie shows the other side of Prague. The Dutch arrived in Prague with some nice wheels, this is one of them.
A streetlegal version of a Le Mans car. It makes sense if you're looking at the extreme looks of this car. It's really one of those cars you'd expect to see during the 24 hours of Le Mans or any other track. When I saw the car approaching the traffic lights I really had to look closely to see what I was actually starting to photograph. It's as low as a Lamborghini Murcielago and has a front looking like a Maserati MC12 or Gumpert Apollo. This is one of those cars you rarely see in a big city. Stunning!
I saw the car in Duesseldorf. Duesseldorf has one of Germany's most expensive streets and is the perfect city to hang around on a saturday, watch exotic cars and to be seen. Many people drive around the Koenigsallee just to get noticed. It's like St Tropez without the palm trees, sea and bikinis. The Koenigsallee is the perfect place in case you're interested in exotic cars. Many exotics drive by or park to shop in one of the expensive shops. Don't forget to visit Starbucks to get a good cup of coffee.
Anyway. Back to Mosler. Did you know that Mosler is actually an American company? The name sounds very German so my first thoughts were that it was a German company that makes cars. Mosler is part of Consulier Industries and its full name is Mosler Automotive. Consulier Industries started in 1985 and is based in Riviera Beach, Florida. The company was started by a guy named Warren Mosler, that's also where the name of the now known automotive company comes from. When I saw the Mosler MT900 GTR driving on the streets of Duesseldorf I got a question from a guy who asked me what kind of car it was. I told him it was a Mosler, a German car. At that time I didn't know it was actually an American company with a small factory in Germany.
A special supercar division of Consulier Industries was born in 1993 and was given the, very original, name Mosler. The full name is Mosler Automotive. Mosler was going to be a division that had the plan to build real supercars. The first Mosler was the Intruder. A car that looked absolutely terrible! The Intruder was more a remake of an original Consulier model than a new model. So the Intruder was more 'reborn' than 'born' in 1993 and it had a V8 Corvette LT1 engine which produced 300 bhp. The Intruder is not one of the best looking cars but it was very successful on the track. In 1993 and 1994 the car attended the 24 hours of Nelson Ledges and it won both races. Amazing! The IMSA, International Motor Sports Association, disapproved the Intruder for further use in 1994. Unfortunately, the reason is unknown. Mosler only built four of these cars. Two of them were converted to a Mosler Raptor, one was converted to a GT1 racecar and the last car was sold to a private person.
Well, the Intruder was history and the Raptor was Moslers car. Well...new? Not really. The Raptor wasn't really a new car. It was more just a change of name from Intruder to Raptor because both cars don't really look that much different. Car & Driver Magazine changed the engine when they tested the car. They used a 6.3 liter V8 with 446 bhp. Even the gearbox was upgraded to a five-shift-gearbox from Porsche. The most hilarious item on this car must have been the steering wheel. Mosler used the steering wheel from a Chrysler Minivan, currently known as the Chrysler Grand Voyager or Plymouth Voyager. Why on earth did they do this? There are so many good looking steering wheels, why pick one from a Minivan?!
Maybe the steering wheel wasn't such a good idea, there is always performance. For its time, the Mosler was actually pretty fast. 0-100 kilometres per hour only took 3.9 seconds and 0-185 kph took just 12.3 seconds. Topspeed was around 262 kilometres per hour. Maybe these numbers are not as high as you would expect from a supercar but when the car was built, the numbers were pretty impressive. At the time Mosler was still working on the engine so the engine did not use its full power during the test. You had one of those cool Raptor cars in 1998 for 160.000 US$, quite a bargain these days for a real supercar. In case you're wondering why they used the name Raptor, think about Jurrasic Park. The second edition of the movie started playing in cinemas in 1997. I have no idea if they are related but for some reason I wouldn't be surprised.
A few years later in 2001, the very first Mosler MT900 was born. The MT900 was going to be built in different editions, both for races and streetlegal. MT900 actually means something. The M stands for Mosler and the T for Trenne. Rod Trenne is the guy we all know from Corvette. He designed the Corvette C5 for Chevrolet a few years ago. 900 refers to the weight of the car. Mosler wanted to build a car that was light so they set the target to 900 kg. If you look at the car, you don't really say that it's a 900 kg car. The streetlegal version will be heavier, around 1100 kg, even though Mosler uses a lot of carbon in the interior. The MT900 had a mission: "Domination on the road and at the track".
The MT900 GTR was built by focussing on fundamentals like a high amount of power. Create a car with a lot of power but think about the weight. Keep the car light and fast so the topspeed increases. Other fundamentals like a low center of gravity, low polar moments and an optimal front/rear weight distribution were important when building the MT900 GTR. Mosler created "a safe car with an extreme performance to dominate the road and the track". Let's talk about the numbers. The MT900 GTR has a 7.0 liter Corvette LS7 engine producing 550 bhp. It has a torque of 637 Nm at 4800 rpm. The 0-100 kph sprint takes 3.7 seconds and 0-200 only takes 10.9 seconds. Imagine that a Porsche Carrera GT is only 0.1 second slower in the 0-100 sprint but 0.7 second faster in the 0-200 sprint. We can actually go even more extreme! Another version has 600 bhp so you're doing 0-100 kph in 3.1 seconds and 0-200 kph in 8.9 seconds. The MT900 GTR has a length of 4.8 meters, the height is 1.13 meters and it's 2 meters wide.
The MT900 GTR is the streetlegal version of the MT900S. The MT900S is more a trackcar but it has been seen on the road in the United States. Mosler built the MT900 GTR in cooperation with several other companies like KW, Work Wheels, Alpine and Dunlop. Seeing this car was an absolut fantastic experience. It's one of those cars you'd expect to see on the track, not in a big and busy city. I can't wait to see it again!
Thanks to E-Carzone for the Intruder and Raptor pictures.
The Caparo T1 is one of the fastest street legal cars at the moment. Top Gear tested the car. Curious what they have to say? Don't wait and read the whole article.
Frustration comes in many forms. Really, you'd have to pity the one-armed man dangling from a cliff who suddenly develops an itchy testicle. I wouldn't want to develop an itchy testicle while strapped into the Caparo T1, but spluttering along in the damn thing at 20mph in a 'photographic' convoy is running the whole itchy testicle thing pretty close.
Six hydraulic cilinders to open and close the roof. 5.0 liter V10. 520 bhp at 8000 rpm. 0 - 100 in 4.3 seconds. Topspeed: 314 kilometer per hour. One of the most popular and stunning looking convertible cars at the moment. This is the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.