Zenos Project E10 - exclusive
Heard the one about the new British sports car company? Not this one...
Starting with the Project E10, the Zenos business plan has been thoroughly costed and thought out before leaving the drawing board. The basic recipe looks familiar; it’s an Elise-proportioned, back to basics and roofless sports car with clear track pretensions, a c. 200hp mid-mounted, transverse 2.0-litre engine driving the rear wheels and a target kerb weight of 650kg for a power to weight ratio of over 300hp per tonne.
The Ford-supplied engine is a direct-injection, normally-aspirated unit that’s effectively an Ecoboost without the turbo and badged in some markets as a Duratec HE Ti-VCT. A generation on from the familiar HE420 Duratec used by Caterham and others, it has the same oversquare dimensions and revvy nature but also features variable valve timing. More powerful supercharged variants will follow but for now Zenos is keeping it simple. Think something along the lines of a Lotus 2-Eleven, Vuhl 05, KTM X-Bow, a modernist Seven or Ariel Atom and you’re on the right path.
Hence the name, a combination of ‘zen’ and ‘os’, the latter derived from the latin for bone. Every day’s a school day and all that.
Everything is designed to be easily replaceable too so although the wheels are fully enclosed they’re in effect covered by individual mudguards rather than large clamshells that won’t cost a fortune if you have an off at a trackday. Likewise the chassis’ simplicity means even a really heavy shunt won’t break the bank and write the car off.
Zenos has the backing of some serious industry suppliers too, nearby Multimatic providing much of the development and parts supply muscle primarily from Ford. And today’s announcement of a government funded grant from the Niche Vehicle Network to support the R&D work on the innovative chassis design gives the project real momentum and technical credibility.
And PH will be there every step of the way too. More on this in due course but Zenos is keen to involve the target audience in the development of the car. And that’s where you’ll come in. Watch this space.