18 November 2003

The spectacular, 155mph four-wheeler from Grinnall Cars has finally hit the road, some three years after we first revealed it in these pages.

The Scorpion IV will be unveiled at next year’s Autosport International Show in January and will provide jaw-dropping performance for around £24,950.

The minimalist styling by Volvo man Steve Harper is an evolution of the bike-engined Scorpion three-wheeler but, following the merger of GM and Fiat, Grinnall has lost its planned supply of Fiat Coupé turbo engines. Now the Scorpion IV has been completely re-engineered around a new, mid-mounted 1.8-litre turbocharged 20-valve four with six-speed gearbox.

The unit offers 210-265bhp with a standard turbo and over 300bhp with further modifications. Grinnall is targeting 270bhp and 270lb ft of torque for the 675kg production car – that means 400bhp per tonne. In testing, a 265bhp prototype achieved Caterham R500-rivalling figures with 0-60mph covered in just 3.7sec – that equals Autocar’s figures for the Pagani Zonda and leaves Ferrari 360, Porsche 911 Turbo and Noble M12 trailing in its wake. Rest to 100mph takes just 7.9sec and mid-range performance is crushing, with 40-80mph covered in 2.7sec – 0.7sec quicker than a McLaren F1. Top speed will be limited to 155mph.

Options will include a weight-saving carbonfibre bodyshell to fit over the steel spaceframe chassis in place of the standard composite shell, and an occasional-use canvas hood with glass windscreen instead of a polycarbonate wind deflector.

Orders are already being taken; all six test drives have resulted in orders being placed for the new car.

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