5 May 2004

Specialist UK car maker Marlin is celebrating its 25th anniversary with this, the new mid-engined 5EXi. Breaking new ground for a maker that has hitherto focused on more retro models like the Hunter and Makaira, the 5EXi is a new shape for the Devon firm. The roadster has a glassfibre bodyshell and various borrowed parts-bin items, such as Peugeot 206 headlights, and a Lotus Elise windscreen.

A lightweight spaceframe chassis, adjustable suspension, and well in excess of 200bhp in it hottest form should endow the 5EXi with searing performance on road and track. Marlin quotes a 0-60mph time of around 4.0sec for the fastest model, which weighs just over 500kg. Prices start at £18,000 for a fully assembled car. Alternatively, the 5EXi is available in £8000 kit form; Marlin says that, armed with the required engine, gearbox and other Rover 200 donor components, assembly should take just four weekends.

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