Sin Cars, the niche Bulgarian car maker responsible for the R1 sports car, has more than doubled the price of its first model in a bid to attract more affluent buyers.
The R1 was first revealed in track-only prototype form in 2013 at the Autosport International show. In 2014, a road-going prototype was shown, which Autocar rode in.
When the car was first revealed, Sin Cars said the new model would cost £72,000 in the UK, pitching it against high-end sports cars including the Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-Type Coupé. Now, however, the company says it has raised the price to £145,000, after re-developing aspects of the R1 to appeal to high-end ‘gentlemen drivers’.
Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Sin Cars boss Rosen Daskalov said the prototype shown in 2014 “had no real interior, no expensive electronic devices. We tried to make everything as cheap as possible. I saw that we are not able to compete [with rivals] with this ideology because the car is not enough to bring in the gentleman drivers.”
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At its new price of £145,000, the R1 will be competing in the same territory as the Porsche 911 R and McLaren’s 570S, which are priced from £136,901 and £143,250 respectively.
In 2014, Daskalov was confident his company could produce up to 120 cars per year, but he now says Sin has scaled back its production to preserve exclusivity, with the aim being to make no more than 20 models annually.
“We don’t want to make the car too popular,” he said “Our car is different, this is not a serial production car. But we can compete with less weight, with more handcrafted materials and better [carbonfibre] parts.
“We are looking for the high-end people who want to be exclusive, and they want something that nobody else will have.”
The first road-going R1 has already been sold to a customer in France, and Daskalov says orders for 10 more cars have been received.
Customers can order the R1 with a variety of Chevrolet-sourced V8 engines. A naturally aspirated 6.2-litre unit develops 444bhp, and 7.0-litre naturally aspirated and 6.2-litre supercharged versions produce 523bhp and 641bhp respectively.
In top-spec form, the R1 is claimed to be capable of reaching 62mph in less than 3.0sec, with a top speed of 185mph.
The road-going R1 is based on the race car of the same name, which has been competing in the European GT4 series. Originally destined for GT3, Sin Cars decided to change the model’s specification to attract wealthy clients looking for a cost-effective racer.
“We changed the car completely to fulfill the GT4 standard,” said Daskalov “More and more people are looking for something which is not so expensive and is more cost effective. We saw this gap and decided to convert the car into GT4 specification. In GT3 we are not able to compete with big names like Bentley, Ferrari and so on because we are small.”
To help preserve the R1’s exclusive appeal, Daskalov says the car will only remain on sale for two years before a facelifted version is launched. Beyond that, the company has “ideas” for more models, but details of those cars haven’t been revealed.