Mexican brand to launch in Europe with updated MXT and new Ford-sourced power unit
27 March 2014

A reworked Mastretta MXT sports car will be revealed later this year, with plans to launch the Mexican brand in Europe from 2015 set to follow.

The Mastretta MXT was originally mooted for European launch last year. But plans were put on hold while the car was prepared for low-volume type approval and a new power unit was lined up to replace the Ford 2.0-litre Duratec initially used with cars sold in Mexico.

“The company needs to grow one step at a time, and the current focus is on the home and neighbouring markets,” said Steve Hindle, who is overseeing Mastretta’s European launch. “We also need to make sure the car 
has a niche to compete in when it launches.”

The current-spec MXT is on sale in South America, with production mooted at about 50 cars a year. 

As well as a new powertrain - Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost unit, as found in the Focus ST - and updated front-end styling, the revised Mastretta is expected to be substantially lighter than the current car, weighing less than 1000kg.

“Our philosophy is that weight and chassis architecture defines performance,” said Hindle. “The power-to-weight ratio and the raw response from the chassis are what will make this car stand out.”

The revised car will undergo European type approval ahead of a mooted 2015 on-sale date.

Mastretta is believed to have investigated motorsport programmes as a way to promote its new car. “We have to develop local programmes for individual markets,” said Hindle. “A one-make series makes perfect sense at home in Mexico, but for the UK, for example, there’s already an abundance of GT4 product, 
so we’re looking at other 
ways of showcasing what 
the car can do.”

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Comments
7

27 March 2014
If this vehicle cannot demonstrate that it has a competitive advantage it is going nowhere. An answer to a question that has not been asked.

GeToD

27 March 2014
You make a fair point, one that we're hugely aware of. For us, it's all about the driving experience. Daniel (Mastretta) has worked tirelessly on honing the chassis to allow a real response from the moment you hit the pedal, but we also know that this alone won't drive sales. Price is going to be critical, as will residuals. But then there's also the usability. I'm 6' 2" and I can get straight in and out (which as you probably know is not always the case with some other models), so what we're doing is refining the MXT to tick key boxes without compromising any. Would I like to see it with a V6 installed? Of course I would! But then we'll be taking it into territory that is currently well-served, so for the moment, the plan is to do a good job by keeping it simple and delivering what most sports car drivers crave - fast, affordable fun. Steve

27 March 2014
Affordable is the key word here, In a world of Banker induced Austerity and the divide between those with money & those just one pay check away from insolvency, this sort of car has to appeal to many who have a bit of spare cash for a weekend toy rather than try and take sales from the big boys with established history & pedigree. It looks promising and kind of reminds me of Lotus (hope thats a good thing) so just want to say best of luck Steve with this endeavour.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

27 March 2014
Thank you for your comment. You're absolutely right, and we know just how lean the car has to be, to be within the reach of the type of owner you describe. You only need to look at the market to see how few of the many well-engineered niche prototypes ever make it to production. Costs only ever rise and you very soon reach the point where you simply can't compete. That's one of the reasons why we're focusing right now on the Americas - we have 'local' demand and it makes sense to turn this to revenues. And it also gives us a little extra time to address the final BOM before approvals testing, so as to make sure that the people who will buy our car not only want to buy it but believe that they can afford to buy it.

27 March 2014
This car is interesting but it has to cost no more than £30k with all taxes and duties paid in the UK. If you can get the price there, it might sell. If you can get a Porsche Cayman or an Alfa Romeo 4C for the same money (c. £45k), then as unfortunate as it may sound, this car will not sell against that kind of competition. If the car has the engine from a Ford Focus ST, it should probably aim for its price tag as well. I wish them every success though as there are never too many interesting driver's cars out there.

27 March 2014
As much as we'd like the MXT to be sub-£30k, production and distribution costs for any car of this type and specification, in low volume, will take the Sterling retail price higher. And you really can't compare it with the ST; we might use the same engine but that's just a small part of the cost. A good comparison here is the Artega GT and Passat R36. They both used the meaty 3.6 V6, but the Artega was almost £80k, compared to the £31k VW, and that was 5 years ago. So as I've said in previous comments, we know this is going to be tough, and we know that the people who are genuine potential customers understand this market as well as we do. That's why we're concentrating on delivering a pure driving experience that rewards the investment in ownership. Steve

27 March 2014
I love Mexicans. Gringo's.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

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