This model is an E10 S, the 2.0 turbo car. But even since March, some notable changes have been made. The car was “95% right”, says Lubinsky, but there were problems. There were the weak-feeling brakes, which have been replaced by six-piston jobs, but there was also a really noisy air intake system, which sat behind your head and made earplugs or a helmet a necessity.
That has been moved to one of the side air intakes, an area itself made available by solving another problem: Zenos has fitted a water-to-air charge cooler, whose radiator now sits at the front. Previously, the air intercooler sat in the side pod but, along with the engine radiator at the front, it didn’t keep the turbo or engine cool enough under prolonged track use, so the ECU would retard the ignition and the car would lose some power after a few laps.
A new shroud behind the front grille channels air to those radiators better now. There’s a new roll cage in the pipeline too, offering the strength of the one you see here but rather better integrated into the rear hoops. All of which adds a few kilos, but this is still a sub-800kg car.
All of these things are retro-fittable to existing E10s, says Lubinsky. “We’ll get retro-fittable upgrades first, then move on to more development afterwards,” he confirms. Zenos’s earlier plan was to introduce an E11 coupé, and it still intends to.
First, though, I have a go in this car. And it’s good, you know. All of the things that made it so appealing in the first place are still there. It rides really well, with a combination of bump absorption and body control that you don’t find too often – and when you do, it’s often in a car from Norfolk. The unassisted, two-turn steering is heavy at parking speeds but lightens up as you get moving, regains weight again when you lean on it in corners, and offers terrific tactile feedback and road feel with only a little nibbling under braking. The brakes are now fine too; they still want a shove, as unassisted brakes do, but they’ll stop this car just fine. The handling is agile, adjustable and rewarding.
Now that the air intake has moved, you can go helmetless. There’s precious little buffeting and, while the engine zings and its turbo fizzes, it’s a decent noise (there’s a new exhaust too) and no longer deafening. Power is now 260bhp, there’s only a little lag and the six-speed Ford gearbox to which it’s mated is slick enough.