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RE: Adrenaline Motorsport Murtaya

RE: Adrenaline Motorsport Murtaya

Thursday 4th January 2007

Adrenaline Motorsport Murtaya

Running gear by Subaru, chassis by ex-Lotus engineer, report by Graham Bell.


Adrenaline Motorsport Murtaya
Adrenaline Motorsport Murtaya

Remember the Delfino Feroce? A few years back this Impreza based, composite monocoque-bodied sports car burst onto the scene, received praise for its dynamic qualities and then disappeared never to be seen again – apart from in virtual form on a computer game.

Well if the idea of owning a lightweight four-wheel drive sports car with 300+bhp potential appealed to you but you’d given up on it ever happening, the good news is that now it’s finally possible thanks to Adrenaline Motorsport and its new Murtaya.

The people behind Adrenaline have years of experience preparing competition cars, while the Murtaya’s designer spent several years doing chassis development work at Lotus on both Elise variants and the current generation of aluminium Aston chassis.

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Plastic Impreza

When it came to creating the Murtaya Adrenaline utilised the latest in automotive IT, including using a digital scanning system to create a highly accurate computer model of the Subaru running gear, greatly reducing the time required to create a CAD model of the car’s structure.

This consists of a composite monocoque bodyshell used in conjunction with a steel front subframe to carry the mechanical parts. The bodyshell itself is GRP (fibreglass) with both polyurethane foam and composite honeycomb sections sandwiched into key areas to increase stiffness, while the subframe is made using roll cage grade CDS tubing.

Naturally all of this has been developed and fully analysed using the CAD software, with the development prototype featured here having an impressive torsional stiffness of over 14,000Nm/degree. By way of comparison, the S1 Elise is 11,000Nm/degree.

However, production versions should be even stiffer due to various improvements, including a stronger windscreen frame that (in conjunction with the roll bar) will take the weight of the car in the event of a roll. In fact the Murtaya promises a high degree of crash protection all round thanks to the monocoque’s overall high strength and features such as the high, wide sills and in-built impact protection structures.

And then of course there’s the dynamic safety afforded by Subaru’s four-wheel drive system lowering the risk of suddenly swapping ends should you apply too much power on a slippery road.

Healthy power

Talking of power, the prototype produces 275bhp at 6,000rpm as well as a very healthy 285lb-ft at 4,500rpm. No performance figures have been taken yet, but with the Murtaya weighing just 925kg, estimates of 0-60 in four seconds and 140mph+ sound realistic.

If that’s not fast enough, engine options up to 395bhp are available, while for ultimate performance Adrenaline will also be offering a ‘track’ version with no windscreen or doors and around 75kg less weight. In fact they’re building one of these with a 500bhp 2.5 litre engine that should provide some serious track day fun later this year.

Driving it

However, what we’re concerned with here is how the Murtaya cuts it as a road-going sports car, which is how it was conceived.

Looking at the photos and seeing the deep sills and shallow doors you probably wondered how easy it is to get in and out of, especially with the hardtop on. OK, it might not have been your overriding thought, but be honest, it did occur didn’t it?

Well, easier than you’d expect is the answer, and though a certain amount of agility is required one bloke of six feet six inches has managed it. And if I tell you that some of the Adrenaline crew are also over six feet tall you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the Murtaya provides lots of legroom. Combine that with the height adjustable Impreza steering column positioned directly in line with the Impreza pedals and the Murtaya should also provide a comfortable driving position for most.

Practicalities

The interior is basic but neatly trimmed in leather and Alcantara (with options including carbon fibre available) and while there’s no stowage for oddments in the cabin there is enough room behind the seats to take a couple of suitcases. Add to that a boot large enough to take two sets of golf clubs (yes, somebody did ask) and the Murtaya should be easily capable of carrying enough luggage for two people on a long weekend.

Not just in summer either, because with that hardtop having a heated rear window and the cabin coming with a heater as standard or air conditioning as an option, the Murtaya has been designed so you can drive it all year round.

And believe me you’ll want to, because putting all the features that make the Impreza such a highly regarded driver’s car into a significantly lighter and more agile chassis means the Murtaya is potentially the ultimate all-weather B-road blaster.

On the move

On the move the Murtaya’s Impreza base is instantly recognisable from the aural dramatics, with the Scooby’s characteristic deep THRUMMMM from the exhaust making way for the FWOOSHT of the dump valve as you take it up through the revs.

In common with many potent two-litre turbo cars the Murtaya doesn’t pull well at low revs so you need to use the gears to keep it happy, with Adrenaline’s extended gear linkage providing a nice positive change.

Take the Murtaya above 3,000rpm and it gets enthusiastic, while above 4,000rpm it goes positively ballistic as the high torque to weight ratio (higher than a Tuscan’s) really comes into play. Keep your foot down and strong acceleration continues up to 7,000rpm, and I’d guess that only the swiftest narrow-bodied lightweights or mega-power supercars will get you to the ton quicker.

Underpinnings

It slows down rather rapidly too thanks to the standard Impreza brakes having around 400kg less weight to deal with, though if heavy track use is on the agenda there are of course plenty of upgrades available. Although the prototype doesn’t have ABS, Adrenaline reckon it should be able to make the Impreza’s system work on a Murtaya so it might feature as an option on production cars.

Adrenaline still hadn’t finalised the Murtaya’s spring rates when I drove it and was debating whether or not to make them a little softer for a more compliant ride, while those 215/40 x 17 Toyos were definitely over-inflated ready for calibration testing.

Even so, the Murtaya successfully soaked up most imperfections along the testing Cornish lanes, so with lower tyre pressures I’d say it’d be a good road and track compromise, with the optional Spax adjustable struts always providing scope for personal fine-tuning.

Something Adrenaline had finalised was the front suspension geometry, which has increased castor and negative camber to eliminate the Impreza’s inherent understeer, and it certainly seems to both turn in and change direction keenly enough.

There’s plenty of steering feel too, with changes in road surface easily perceptible through the wheel, and while the standard 2.8 turns rack isn’t particularly quick I’d still rate the Murtaya as having some of the best steering I’ve used this side of an Elise.

Driver satisfaction

What this lot adds up to is a car that in real world conditions not only provides a high degree of driver satisfaction but will also enable you to cover ground faster than in almost anything else.

As for build quality, the hard-worked prototype inevitably lacks the glossiness of a showpiece, but it feels solidly constructed, the in-house moulded body is ripple free with good panel alignment while the steel subframe is CNC laser profiled to ensure accuracy.

Is it practical enough to use on an everyday basis? Well, I’d say that if you could live with an Elise or VX220 on an everyday basis then you could live with a Murtaya too. I certainly could.

How much? From around £16,500 on the road if you build it yourself.

Yes, the Murtaya is a kit car - but fully built versions are available, with road cars starting at around £23,000 for a car of similar spec to the prototype made with used parts, which includes the customer’s choice of soft-top or hardtop.

In fact although Adrenaline Motorsport has launched the Murtaya as a kit car due to financial expediency, its intention from the outset was to produce a car that could easily be developed into a fully-fledged production car made with all-new parts.

Well the omens for that happening are already looking good, with around half the initial sales being to ‘non kit car’ types who are paying for fully built versions. What’s more, Adrenaline now has an arrangement with no less than Prodrive for the supply of new Subaru parts – including Prodrive’s uprated options – which should give a good indication of how seriously both car and company are being taken.

Considering the integrity of its design, the performance potential offered by the Subaru parts and the new Prodrive tie-in, I’d say that the Murtaya is probably the most significant specialist performance car launch of 2006.

If you want one I’d advise you to get your name down quickly, because with Adrenaline building up a network of international agents and setting a total production limit of just 48 Murtayas per year (and only 36 in 2007) there could soon be a waiting list.

However, Adrenaline Motorsport isn’t just limiting itself to producing the Murtaya. It also operates as an automotive design consultancy and already has another couple of projects in the pipeline that I’m not at liberty to discuss here – though one of them does involve a tie-in with a big manufacturer…

(c) Copyright Graham Bell 2006

Author
Discussion

mafioso

Original Poster:

2,291 posts

139 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
I'm sorry but this doesn't do it for me at all! Doesn't look nice at all! That front bumper looks as if it's just come out of the latest Need for Speed game and...well you can all the back end yourselves! I have no doubts that this will be mechanically sound, but do you need 4 wheel drive in something that small!? Surely people like rear wheel drive in these Elise-type cars so they can get the back end out on track days for fun! What do you lot think?

Jonty99

4,423 posts

138 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
I have to agree, whats the point with 4WD with a small sports car? That will just make it dull! I suppose it'll be quick though.

black5

579 posts

148 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Interesting write up Graham.

I would add that I believe the car is much easier to get in & out of than the Lotus Elise, especially with the roof up.

In respect of the large vents at the front, the car requires a fair bit of cooling and the vents fit this requirement.

Why is 4wd a waste?
And why do so many people buy Scooby's then?

fuoriserie

4,549 posts

194 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Jonty99 said:
I have to agree, whats the point with 4WD with a small sports car? That will just make it dull! I suppose it'll be quick though.


I think that the concept of a small 4wd sportscar is great, and the packaging is just right for the Subaru engine.

Styling is subjective, but engineering is not, and this car has potential in the long run, it could create a new niche in the kitcar market, and become what TVR used to be, an affordable and raw sportscar.



Edited by fuoriserie on Thursday 4th January 14:59

black5

579 posts

148 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
fuoriserie said:
Styling is subjective, but engineering is not and this car has potential in the long run, it could create a new niche in the kitcar market, and become what TVR used to be, an affordable and raw sportscar.


Must agree with Italo here.

BTW remember there are a lot more pics on this thread: www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=308931&f=30&h=0


Edited by black5 on Thursday 4th January 14:48



Edited by black5 on Thursday 4th January 14:48
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v8lover

141 posts

144 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
looks like a sooped up suzuki cappucino?!

fuoriserie

4,549 posts

194 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
v8lover said:
looks like a sooped up suzuki cappucino?!


I like the Suzuki Cappuccino........


Edited by fuoriserie on Thursday 4th January 15:09

Hiryu

155 posts

137 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Well, the nice thing is, if you like 2WD in a small car, you can always buy an Elise. The Murtaya is unique in the auto world in that it has Elise-like weight with AWD traction and a lot of power/torque (the type of car that some of us have been looking for).

Not to mention that an Elise doesn't have this much power. Take a look at the video of the 400hp Forced Fed Elise (where the driver can't control and put down the power) and you'll understand why AWD makes the small and light Murtaya so great. That said, I bet the Murtaya isn't much harder than an Elise to kick the back end out (in the versions with the rear-biased Subaru AWD systems), considering the greater power and front-engined weight distribution. I wouldn't really worry about this car not being incredibly fun, from all I've heard...

Oh, and I like the looks of the Murtaya, too.

swoll

6,904 posts

183 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
black5 said:
Why is 4wd a waste?


Heavier, more complex and in almost all cases it corrupts steering feel in comparison to RWD.

black5 said:
And why do so many people buy Scooby's then?


Because they want a 5 door car that costs a reasonable amount of money and is as quick as far more expensive machinery on most roads. Also the WRC halo effect.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with your car, but can see Jonty99's point about 4WD in a small lightweight sportscar.

Not sure about a car with 4WD and a turbo engine being compared with TVR's as a raw supercar either.

Surely TVR found they had to evolve as there were not enough buyers for badly made and/or tempremental cars that would kill you if you took advantages.

black5

579 posts

148 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
swoll said:
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with your car, but can see Jonty99's point about 4WD in a small lightweight sportscar.


Just for the record, I have a small, lightweight, rwd kit - A black Marlin 5exi (hence black5).

I just happen to have done a report (or 2) on the Murtaya and I can say it is a blisteringly quick and very sure-footed car, with as much (if not more) practicality than the likes of the BMW Z4 and far more room that the Elise than we seem to be comparing it to here.


Edited by black5 on Thursday 4th January 16:51

ATG

15,466 posts

197 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
I think this is a great idea. Takes the speciality car manufacturer/kit car company a major technological step forwards. If they manage to make use of the Impreza's ABS system, then you'll be getting AWD, ABS and forced induction as standard for around £23k, with plenty of scope to get silly power courtesy of all the development already done on the Impreza platform, and all in a lightweight two seater. They aren't going to have much difficulty shifting 40 or 50 of those a year.

andygtt

8,248 posts

189 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
I love it, being a scooby engine I bet it sounds good too.

Not sure it could replace my R1 MK Indy...... But if I had the time to do another project I bet it could replace the M3 and the Indy.

Hiryu

155 posts

137 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
andygtt said:
I love it, being a scooby engine I bet it sounds good too.


If you want to hear it, there's a public video (the first of many, I hear--and the future ones should be of better quality) of the car in action:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M-RlEGajUk

Like I said, this car opens up a lot of new options. It could have been another run-of-the-mill light/RWD car, but it is something quite different from anything out there on the market. It's a car for people who would trade a couple hundred pounds for more traction and control. Even then, it should still provide great steering feedback and is still quite light...

Mike



Edited by Hiryu on Thursday 4th January 19:07

LexSport

2,697 posts

174 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
I'd be interested to know the weight distribution... My thinking is that with less weight in the chassis and body, but still needing to have the engine ahead of the front axle (drive shafts from the box out to the front wheels) it might end up with a fair bit of weight up front. But then again, if it drives well, who cares I guess.

grahambell

2,695 posts

200 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Nice link to the video hiryu.

In answer to Jonty's point, belive me there's nothing dull about driving this car. It sounds fantastic, as I said in the article there's terrific steering feel with nimble handling and as Mark (black5) has said it's blisteringly quick. How can that be dull?

Yes, 4wd does add weight, but at 925kg the Murtaya is still lighter than a TVR, let alone a Porky Boxster or Z4.

barry ashcroft

1,958 posts

146 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Looks good but make the dump valve quite.

Better arrange a drive soon as driving like that through those lanes it wont last very long.

grahambell

2,695 posts

200 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
LexSport said:
I'd be interested to know the weight distribution...


Must admit I never thought to ask that. Yes, the engine is in front of the wheels, but with the boxer engine being both short and low its centre of gravity will be much further back and lower than it would be with an Audi engine for example.

Probably little or no further forward than with a transverse in-line four at a guess, and lower with it. Combine that with the weight of rear drive transmission at the back and it's probably better balanced than your average FWD hatchback.

val

199 posts

159 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Swap the drivetrain so that the engine is where its supposed to be and make it handle moscow roads in winter. Oh, an make it look good. Then ill buy one.

andygtt

8,248 posts

189 months

Friday 5th January 2007
quotequote all
val said:
Swap the drivetrain so that the engine is where its supposed to be and make it handle moscow roads in winter. Oh, an make it look good. Then ill buy one.


I'm not sure what would handle a winter Moscow road better than a car with rally car roots! certainly not a 7 or an elise!

I'm also surprised that people are so against the styling... I guess it must be one of those love it or hate it things.

Davi

17,147 posts

145 months

Friday 5th January 2007
quotequote all
andygtt said:


I'm also surprised that people are so against the styling... I guess it must be one of those love it or hate it things.


same here, I don't think it's the prettiest of cars but compared to many it's not exactly an ugly duckling - kind of viper-esque to me. Neither love nor hate it at the moment but I think it's a pretty fair effort!