Judging interest in a concept car
What is great about a Lotus Elise? Its lightweight, has awsome handling, very connected to the driver, responsive, gives you a feeling of a proper race car, sits very low and drives like one too.
What is great about a Scooby STi? It has amasing usability and potential speed. You can drive it fast on a summer b-roads, or an autobahn in torrental rain, or overtake a supercar in a snow blizzard. All this while feeling planted and comfy.
What if we join all the best features of these two awsome and very different cars with a minimal compromise? Meet the concept... Imagine a lightweight mid-engined 2 seater sportscar with an intelligent AWD system connected to a flat 2.5 liter turbocharged engine. All this with an interior good enough for a cold blizzard or a burning sun.
Put yourself into a a very nice looking and well designed alcantara interior. Lots of aluminium detailing is surrounded by a top quality alcantara stiched together by a thread matching exterior color. A bucket seat hugs you firmly, yet feels very civilised and doesnt cause any discomfort. Your hands grasp a pretty small steering wheel. You turn it... It feels a bit heavy, but very positive and gives a lot of feedback. Legs work with 3 pedals, which are placed almost at the same level as your seat. They feel perfectly weighted and positioned. Heel and toe is seamless. Your right leg pushes down the accelerator pedal... A warming and deep rumble exits the exaust and immediatly a huge acceleration wave engulfs you even from low revs.
There is a turn ahead... Just a touch on the break pedal, quick turn in, and the car eats the corner shatteringly quick with total precision, feedback and control.
So far you would think that you are driving maybe a Porsche GT3, which was put on a diet, lowered and turbocharged, or maybe a slightly heavy turbocharged Lotus Elise with a remade interior, and road conditions are something like nice, warm and dry.
The truth is its -20C/5F outside and you are in the middle of a snow blizzard. A stream of warm air blows over your legs and your back is nicely heated. When you look up you see snow falling right on you - the roof is all glass. Interior, although relatively small, feels warm and very airy. Like your own bubble of hot air in the middle of a snowstorm. Some favourite music accompanies you through an excellent sound system. Hard to belive that this interior feels so similarly low profiled and driver focused as in a Lotus Elise, yet so different.
Another turn ahead... You confidently turn in and squeeze the accelerator, but there is a little more ice underneath the snow then you expected. You make a small correction with the steering wheel and keep the accelerator pressed. You know that differential is set into "safe" mode and that means that torque will be transfered to the front wheels and with a slight hint of understeer the car will confidently make the turn.
Then you see a nice piece of empty road with large run-off areas. You put the diff into "race" mode and get ready for some drifting action.
It might just as well have been a warm summer day around 40C/105F... Except that warm bubble of air around you would turn into a cool one.
2 seater coupe with a glass roof
Fibreglass external panels
Tubular steel or alluminium spaceframe chassis
Storage behind seats with easy access, enough for two golf bags
2.5 liter flat 4 cylinder turbocharged engine
Rear-engined (almost between the wheels) transaxel configuration with very low cog
Intelligent AWD system with computer controlled Prodrive center differential
Dry weight 1050-1100 kg / 2300-2400 lbs
Power 375 bhp
Power to weight in running order without driver 330 bhp/tonne
Acceleration in running order:
0-60 in 3.4 sec
0-100 in 8.8 sec
1/4 mile 11.6 sec