Marcos GTC

Marcos GTC
Marcos GTC
Later today Marcos will reveal the final evolution of its TSO GT car -- and we'll be bringing you pictures the moment they're available.

Just to confuse matters the car’s moniker is now ‘GTC’ rather than GT2. Marcos boss Tony Stelliga explained that the new handle is to emphasise the fact that the car has undergone such radical changes (149 of them) that he considers it worthy of a new handle.

So what’s changed from the previous prototypes? One of the most significant changes – largely in response to feedback from potential customers – is that the interior space has been improved. Laterally, Marcos has provided an extra 4.5 inches while a windscreen redesign and tweaking of the seats adds an extra 2.5 inches of headroom, and better visibility.

Chassis

Under the body, further work has been done by Marcos’s design partner Prodrive. Chassi stiffness is improved and weight is down: the kerb weight of the car is now an impressive 1,125kg.

Bolted to that chassis is a new prefabricated roll cage to provide more rigidity and of course a high level of protection for the occupants in the case of a serious crash.

On the drivetrain front, Marcos is using a six-litre LSX V8 as fitted to the Monaro and Corvette. Monaro emissions hardware has been used to ensure compliance at a reasonable cost. Use of this ECU also paves the way for future enhancements like traction control and ABS.

A redesign of the front of the car has allowed the team to ram more air through the front aperture, improving the breathing of the engine, allowing more cool air to enter the engine bay and resulting in a ‘Ram Air’ effect too.

We’ve obtained the power run that Marcos did at WRC Technologies last week. (see it here as a PDF file). The flat curves should be a good indication of how easy the motor will be to live with. Power for the standard car will be 420bhp whilst the performance pack will take that up to a quoted 462bhp. Marcos is confident that there’s more to be had but wants to ensure its quoted figures are conservative and accurate. It's also achieved its goal of a power to weight ratio exceeding that of a Caterham R400!

Other changes include the gearbox (Monaro spec) and a ‘Cush Drive’ prop shaft which helps buffer some of the drivetrain shunt that can be experienced with such torquey motors.

Exhaust

Conscious of how owners want their cars to sound, Marcos has spent what appears to be an inordinate amount of time tweaking the exhaust tone. The company has varied the point at which the two pipes join in order to get the right exhaust pulses winging their way to the rear of the car. The result is one that Stelliga describes as “Aston-like” but with a good dose of Aussie V8 racer.

The car is built from three outsourced modules: chassis, drivetrain and bodywork. Stelliga is keen to advance production techniques for this type of car. After all, production of spaceframed chassis and GRP bodied cars hasn’t advanced much for some decades.

Revisiting the Build Process

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As part of that review, Marcos has adopted a dual gelcoat foam cored version of GRP which it claims is perfect – “as good as metal” - straight out of the box and requires no sanding or filling. The final product is 38 per cent stiffer than their prototypes and 14 per cent lighter. There have also been several hints from Marcos that a targa version of the car might be available in due course.

The largest change to existing practices is that rather than slapping a body on a chassis, screwing it together and then fitting the running gear, Marcos has adopted a production system that sees the chassis fully fitted (and therefore fully stressed) before a body it lowered on. Most significantly, the body comes prefitted with 58 threaded brass pickups which should align to the stressed chassis. If they don’t line up, the body is rejected. The fitting of the body later in the production process ensures fewer scratches and scrapes during other fitting and allows the body to be fitted to a properly stressed car, and should avoid flexing and cracking as the car is loaded up.

The car has been designed using the latest in CAD/CAM technology, something Stelliga is very proud of. “It’s self documenting” he told us. Each component is designed in-house and generates the appropriate tooling data for the component manufacturers. This removes the need for subcontractors to design their own tooling -- and more significantly means that Marcos could switch suppliers if necessary without significant delays.

Dealers

Production is underway with dealer cars arriving in August and the first customer cars soon after.

The dealer network has some familiar names in it. Giles Cooper (TVR Centre, Noble London) will provide the outlet in London. Mole Valley Motor Group (formerly TVR dealers, now Noble dealers) will service the Surrey and surrounding areas. David Gerald Sportscars will service the West Country and Champ Cars at Silverstone will look after the Midlands. A further dealer is to be appointed in the North.

Stelliga’s plans are conservative. When we quizzed him about making the whole project work financially (he’s obviously invested significantly in the design and build), he was reserved. “We don’t plan to build thousands of cars each year”, he told us. One per week, rising to two per week in due course fits his business plan. What we do know is that the modular approach to building the cars should ensure there’s scope to ramp up production if required.

The GTC will be unveiled at 1pm today – we’ll be there to grab some pictures for you and Marcos has also provided us with some studio shots which we’ll be allowed to release early this afternoon.

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Comments (70) Join the discussion on the forum

  • XTR2Turbo 10 Dec 2006

    XTR2Turbo said:
    tvrred said:
    Sat in one at the David Geralds open day. Very nice car with shades of maserati/aston about it. It is very snug when sat in the drivers seat. The similar size TVR Sagaris next to it seemed much roomier inside. I think anyone who is tall/wide might find it a bit tight.


    That's what still concerns / disappoints me - may end up keeping the T250c in that case.


    Well I finally found time to vist David Gerrard and sit in their demonstrator. Unfortunately for me its still much to tight to get comfortable. I'm only 6'1" but must have a tall upper half because I could not sit in the car with my neck straight and head upright because the roof line is very verylow. Leg room was fine. I have test driven an Elise s mk II and I would say it has more interior space the the Marcos. A shame from my perspective because I was ready to write out a deposit. I think they will lose a number of sales as I don't think I am a real supersize adult. The fit and finish is very good, that engine and chassis will be great and the looks are growing on me. I was unsure by the location of the central dials but seemed OK just sitting in the car.

    Thanks to Doug for taking the time to show me the car and getting it back from Marcos at short notice. Seems like a top dealer. Will be sticking with my TVRs for a while longer.

    David

    Edited by XTR2Turbo on Sunday 10th December 20:38

  • V800MPH 21 Nov 2006

    may have to take the panel out wont know realy until i try it for real,but either way no problem!!

  • BossCerbera 20 Nov 2006

    richb said:
    confused so does this mean track days with the roof panel out?

    I don't think so... The R/T has a central roof bar instead of the side bars in the GTC. The absence of those side bars makes the space for a taller person to wear a helmet, not the removal of the roof.

  • dinkel 20 Nov 2006

    Webasto

  • richb 20 Nov 2006

    confused so does this mean track days with the roof panel out?

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