What could be the fastest road car ever built — lighter, faster and 20 per cent more powerful than a Bugatti Veyron — has been unveiled as a concept by Lancashire-based engine guru Al Melling. And he believes he can have it on sale late this year at under £200,000, one third the price of a Veyron.
The Hellcat is a front-engined two-seat coupé powered by a quad-turbo 6.0-litre V10 milled entirely from aluminium billets. It produces 1200bhp at 7200rpm, plus 880lb ft at 5400rpm. The car, which has a slight rearward weight bias and rear-wheel drive, puts its huge power through a six-speed transaxle.
Melling says he is catering strictly for car purists whose priority is raw performance. The Hellcat has no luxury features, no climate control and no stereo. It even lacks a bootlid.
The chassis is a steel spaceframe with all-independent suspension and the same six-pot AP Racing calipers Bugatti uses on the Veyron. The body makes extensive use of carbonfibre and aluminium, and Melling promises that the kerbweight will be 1200kg; less than a Porsche Boxster.
Melling believes the Hellcat’s power, gearing and weight would allow it to reach 250mph, but he claims “only” 225mph, with accompanying explosive acceleration.
Production at around 20 cars a year will begin in the second half of 2007 and the first examples should be delivered to customers by Christmas.