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New British sports car: exclusive

Superlight, super-fast and brand new

By / Monday, August 07, 2006


A new British sports car is about to arrive: the R1 from Javan Sports Cars. The company's in the throes of launching the 650Kg car which it describes as a "world class, hand-built speedster" that can hit 60mph in 3.6 seconds.

The machine is said to be aerospace designed and manufactured using an epoxy-bonded aluminium honeycomb monocoque for lightness and strength. It uses computer designed, race car inspired suspension, according to Javan, which is based in west Cornwall at Helston.

The motivation behind the car comes from company boss Javan Smith, a man who describes himself as "always having been close to motorsport", including F1, on the sponsorship side. He since made a successful living building 1/8-sized models, and that's where the finance for the Javan project originated. "As the eyes get older, I have to build ever-bigger models, so now I'm up to 1:1 scale", he joked.

Smith sees the R1, which has been under development for four years, competing with the likes of the Caterham Superlights, Ariel Atom, and what Smith described as the spirit of the Lotus Elise "before the marketing boys got hold of it".

If you want one, be prepared to wait eight weeks - there are only two cars right now and the company doesn't plan to build more than 12 a year.


  • Mid-mounted 2-litre 4-cylinder Honda i-VTEC DOHC engine (from the Civic Type-R)developing 220bhp, redlined at 8,600rpm, coupled to a six-speed gearbox.
  • Options include launch control and supercharging.
  • Weight: 670kg
  • 0-62mph: 3.6 seconds
  • 0-100mph: 9.8 seconds
  • Standing quarter-mile: 12.2 seconds
  • Price: £30,138.75


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