RE: Zenos E10R: Spotted

Tuesday 29th January

Zenos E10R: Spotted

The quickest Zenos produced, now available with very few miles and £15k off - interesting...



So much of the Zenos plan seemed so good: there was expertise in the team, a clever idea on the drawing board and a proven set of mechanicals underneath. The E10 was a modern, innovative, original take on the lightweight British track special, and showed huge promise. The standard car was really good straight out of the box (and from £25k), the turbocharged E10 S added some very serious performance and the E10 R was a proper road rocket, putting Focus RS power into a car less than half the weight.

But it wasn't to be. In 2017 the administrators had to be called in as the business became unsustainable and, although rescued by AC Cars just a couple of months later, there's been precious little from the company in the two years since. (Naturally, if anything is known of the plight of Zenos, we'd be keen to hear an update.) Still, a lack of sales doesn't mean a bad product - look at the host of positive reviews out there - and a used E10 is now looking like a more interesting alternative to the usual suspects than ever. Especially so when cars like this E10 R, the fastest and most circuit-focussed Zenos produced, is available for less than £30k.


As a reminder, the R used the 2.3-litre Ecoboost Ford engine from the Focus RS (where other models had been powered by the 2.0-litre) to deliver 350hp to the rear wheels of a 700kg car. Unsurprisingly performance was in another league compared to the earlier Zenoses; "astonishing" was the word used on PH, the power complemented by a chunky 350lb ft of torque for huge speed at any revs. That the car could handle and exploit all of the rampant performance was arguably even more remarkable.

The E10 R was launched as a Drive Edition, which is what we have here, and brought a range of desirable track extras: adjustable dampers, carbon seats and harnesses, short shift gear lever, quick release wheel and more. This car has the further advantage of both a limited-slip diff (not fitted as standard) and lighter OZ wheels, making for what must be the most desirable Zenos out there.


And yet it's also one of the cheapest. That might be owing to the higher mileage compared to similar cars - some are still on the delivery mileage - but then 3,000 is hardly enormous. Which means it looks like a canny buy at £28,450, especially with some less powerful E10s still above £30,000.

Of course there are other cars that could be bought; Britain is the home of the stripped out track weapon, after all. However, while there are Caterhams and Lotuses at the money - see this 270 and Elise S, lovely cars both - it's difficult to combine the E10's power, performance and relative newness for this money among the more established marques.


It's therefore easy to make a convincing case for the Zenos; there's even some kind of roof to ensure you make it home. There will be concerns around buying the product of a seemingly defunct company - the panels could be tricky to replace, for example - but the mechanicals are at least off the shelf Ford items and so, in theory, simple enough to keep on top of. As something rarer, faster, just as talented and arguably more interesting than the immediate rivals at this price, it would be a shame for the Zenos E10 R not to find another owner soon. If something new is required for the 2019 track day season, it's hard to think of much better.


SPECIFICATION - ZENOS E10 R

Engine: 2,261cc, 4-cyl turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 350@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 350@4,000rpm
MPG: NA
CO2: NA
Year registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 3,000
Price new: £43,995 (Drive Edition)
Yours for: £28,450

See the orginal advert here.

Author
Discussion

Lordbenny

Original Poster:

7,159 posts

157 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
I’d have that over an Atom, A Caterham or any Lotus.

Turbobanana

1,220 posts

139 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
I'll be honest and say that I rarely pay any attention to the multiple stories of new track-focused cars announced by startup UK men-in-shed type businesses, largely because they all seem to follow the same path to self destruction as exemplified by Zenos above.

As a consequence I had no idea this existed.

Now I do I rather like it, and it appears to offer good value for money and an attractive alternative to the mainstream (such as Caterhams et al are mainstream).

kambites

55,822 posts

159 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
It's a rather different proposition to an Elise. The Elise may be spartan by most people's standards but it's still a usable car - it has doors, a roof, HVAC,... this thing does make the 3-11 look rather expensive, though.

MrScrot

65 posts

100 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
I really don't want to insult the designers, but why do these types of cars always have naff interiors?

If I paid £43,000 for a new car I would at least expect a decent steering wheel. The same with the rear lamps, why are they always basic?

It's kind of a shame because the exterior of the car looks good in my eyes (apart from the rear lamps).

Tuvra

7,746 posts

163 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
Serious question, will this have potential engine failure seeing as it has a Focus RS engine? scratchchin
Advertisement

kambites

55,822 posts

159 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
MrScrot said:
I really don't want to insult the designers, but why do these types of cars always have naff interiors?

If I paid £43,000 for a new car I would at least expect a decent steering wheel. The same with the rear lamps, why are they always basic?

It's kind of a shame because the exterior of the car looks good in my eyes (apart from the rear lamps).
What's wrong with the steering wheel? It's round and looks to me made of a reasonably grippy material? At least the thing actually is round which puts it a league above most "sporty" steering wheels IMO. It's not exactly a difficult thing to change if you want something with a bit more bling.

The reason the lights tend to be generic is that homogenization of light units is monumentally expensive for no significant benefit. Even the Mclaren F1 used rear lights lifted off a coach. I do agree that these look a bit out of place though - they're too big for the size of the car.

Edited by kambites on Tuesday 29th January 10:05

SpudLink

2,313 posts

130 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
Tuvra said:
Serious question, will this have potential engine failure seeing as it has a Focus RS engine? scratchchin
This is something that’s been discussed on the Zenos owners FB group. As I understand it the E10R has the Mustang engine which is not exactly the same as the Focus, and not prone to the same failure.

gazzathehutt

34 posts

46 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
I bought the third production Zenos (an E10S) and upgraded to an E10R in 2016. My E10R has done about 6,500 miles, much of which has been on track days and nothing has broken (yet!). They are well-engineered cars and there is little to fear about maintenance and repairs - there is a small but enthusiastic owners community who can point you towards the sources for all repairs and upgrades.

The E10R was £45k new so the deals that are around for low-mileage used cars at the moment are bargains if you are looking for a track-day car or sunny sunday special. You might want some upgrades for track use - cooling and brakes are often suggested but it's relatively easy to source and fit upgrades.

The "get you home" roof isn't very effective - this is either a car for dry days (or use motorcycle clothing to drive in the wet!). The E10R is also a handful to drive in the wet on the standard ZZR tyres. I drove mine from Northampton to Anglesey in a rainstorm once and made it but it wasn't the most pleasant experience. The track day the following day was awesome, however and made the trip worthwhile.

The car is particularly suited to tall drivers - I cannot fit in a Caterham but the Zenos was designed with taller drivers in mind.

It's worth noting that the fundamental design of the Zenos is similar to both the Elemental and the Vuhl, both of which sell for much, much more.

Apparently AC Cars are planning to start manufacturing a mildly updated version of the Zenos E10 again in 2019.

If anyone is considering buying one and wants a chat, I'd be happy to share my experiences with the car.


Edited by gazzathehutt on Tuesday 29th January 10:14


Edited by gazzathehutt on Tuesday 29th January 10:17

SpudLink

2,313 posts

130 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
kambites said:
MrScrot said:
I really don't want to insult the designers, but why do these types of cars always have naff interiors?

If I paid £43,000 for a new car I would at least expect a decent steering wheel. The same with the rear lamps, why are they always basic?

It's kind of a shame because the exterior of the car looks good in my eyes (apart from the rear lamps).
What's wrong with the steering wheel? It's round and looks to me made of a reasonably grippy material? At least the thing actually is round which puts it a league above most "sporty" steering wheels IMO. It's not exactly a difficult thing to change if you want something with a bit more bling.

The reason the lights tend to be generic is that homogenization of light units is monumentally expensive for no significant benefit. Even the Mclaren F1 used rear lights lifted off a coach.
The E10 shares its rear lights with the 4C.
There is no way the original car could have been launched at the target price of £25k if they’d spend the money to develop all bespoke lights and Porsche level interior.


Jon_S_Rally

204 posts

26 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
I like it. A pretty bonkers car for that money I should think.

I did have a brief passenger ride in an E10 S and was very impressed to be honest. I had a tiny but of involvement in the early days of the project and they seemed to be going about it the right way in terms of what the car was supposed to be like and there were some very good brains behind it.

A shame it didn't work out, but it was always going to be a big ask.

WonkeyDonkey

344 posts

41 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
Are those the same Corsa indicator stalks that are used in the Elise? They've had a lot longer life than anyone could have imagined if they are!

gazzathehutt

34 posts

46 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
SpudLink said:
Tuvra said:
Serious question, will this have potential engine failure seeing as it has a Focus RS engine? scratchchin
This is something that’s been discussed on the Zenos owners FB group. As I understand it the E10R has the Mustang engine which is not exactly the same as the Focus, and not prone to the same failure.
Correct, Spudlink, Zenos used the Mustang version which has slightly different head design and appears not to have suffered the problems experienced with the Focus RS version. However, as an E10R owner, I have discovered that the cooling arrangements in the Zenos installation are marginal for heavy track use (but quite adequate for road use). Adding a radiator duct to improve radiator efficiency is the first (relatively cheap) step to address this and my car is shortly getting a chargecooler installation. Again, I stress that this is only to be considered for heavy track use - the car as originally supplied is fine for on-road use.

Tuvra

7,746 posts

163 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
SpudLink said:
Tuvra said:
Serious question, will this have potential engine failure seeing as it has a Focus RS engine? scratchchin
This is something that’s been discussed on the Zenos owners FB group. As I understand it the E10R has the Mustang engine which is not exactly the same as the Focus, and not prone to the same failure.
thumbup

In that case, it's a very nice starting place for tuning. A Revo Stage 1 transforms the Focus RS for about £600! Stage two would be mental for around £2,000!! 440PS & 455LBFT in something weighing 720kg sounds hilarious hehe

996jim

117 posts

90 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
What a waste of the thick end of £30k. I always think there's a good reason a car company goes bust - better products are available, usually for less. Definately the case here, look in the classifieds and see what £30000 will buy you. Whilst it's nice to have something exclusive, it's better to have something that's not crap. Surely a Caterham is a better buy at that sort of money.

Master Bean

1,196 posts

58 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
Tuvra said:
SpudLink said:
Tuvra said:
Serious question, will this have potential engine failure seeing as it has a Focus RS engine? scratchchin
This is something that’s been discussed on the Zenos owners FB group. As I understand it the E10R has the Mustang engine which is not exactly the same as the Focus, and not prone to the same failure.
thumbup

In that case, it's a very nice starting place for tuning. A Revo Stage 1 transforms the Focus RS for about £600! Stage two would be mental for around £2,000!! 440PS & 455LBFT in something weighing 720kg sounds hilarious hehe
Transforms rolleyes The most overused word in the tuning world.

IanJ9375

757 posts

154 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
SpudLink said:
This is something that’s been discussed on the Zenos owners FB group. As I understand it the E10R has the Mustang engine which is not exactly the same as the Focus, and not prone to the same failure.
There's only one 2.3 engine - different head work is what takes the power up from Mustang level to Focus RS levels as I understand it, and this E10R has RS levels of power?

As an RS owner the hype about failures is just that hype, the numbers are low and the only fallout from all the recall work has been further work required to address oil leaks

RumbleOfThunder

2,669 posts

141 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
996jim said:
What a waste of the thick end of £30k. I always think there's a good reason a car company goes bust - better products are available, usually for less. Definately the case here, look in the classifieds and see what £30000 will buy you. Whilst it's nice to have something exclusive, it's better to have something that's not crap. Surely a Caterham is a better buy at that sort of money.
Why do you assume it's crap?

deadscoob

2,021 posts

198 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
Interested to hear too.
They are anything but crap, great little cars.

MX6

3,935 posts

151 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
That looks a lot of fun, I don't recall seeing or hearing of this before. I like the look of it, the widebody type shape with the pronounced haunches and side air intake look very purposeful/aggressive. The interior appears straight forward and no nonsence.

I always think these sportscar start-up businesses are very brave in attempting to create a new car to rival the established names. I think you'd have to be quite brave to buy one too, I'd worry about availability and cost of parts though I guess it's probably something of a parts bin effort.

Tickle

3,007 posts

142 months

Tuesday 29th January
quotequote all
The E10-R must be ballistic, I had quite a few run-outs over the summer with an E10-S. It is a great little car, fast too. The quality is good and they look fantastic in the metal/plastic, loads of nice little design details.

Hope Zenos get back up and running, I doubt it will be the case though, it is such a limited market now the lightweight. It must be such a nice edge for a company like this to make money and predict sales.