Zenos, the sports car company founded by Caterham veterans Mark Edwards and Ansar Ali, already has buyers for the 80 cars it plans to build this year. The Norfolk-based company has now begun taking orders for production of “up to 150 cars” before 2016.
According to CEO Edwards, the company has already begun sending cars to key export markets, with 10 cars heading to China and 10 to the US by the end of this year.
Zenos, which is funded by a network of venture capitalists and counts actor Hugh Grant as an investor, has focused so far on selling its launch model, the open, doorless Lotus Elise-sized E10, which was designed from scratch with an entry price of £24,995.
The basic E10 comes with a 200bhp normally aspirated 2.0-litre Ford engine and five-speed gearbox, but the most popular model is the £29,995 E10S, which has a 250bhp 2.0-litre turbo.
Work is well advanced on the E11, a roadster with doors, and the E12, a Lotus Exige-style coupé, due in about a year’s time. Like the E10, the E11 and E12 will be available with several different power levels and track-oriented drivers will be able to opt for a special £4000 Track Pack, consisting of a six-speed gearbox, special springs, dampers, wheels and tyres and race harnesses.
Current and future Zenos models - all styled at Drive, a design consultancy in Ripley, Surrey - are based on what Edwards calls the E-platform, a structure reminiscent of a modernised original Lotus Elan set-up. It’s made of extruded aluminium sections, with bolted-on tubular steel structures to provide body support and side protection.
The floor, two bulkheads and various load-bearing panels are formed in an ultra-light, ultra-strong aluminium-composite sandwich material, but much of the outer skin comprises 18 separate glassfibre panels so it is easily repairable. The car’s race-style double-wishbone suspension is designed by Multimatic, using bespoke uprights and specially calibrated Bilstein dampers.
The forthcoming models will comply with European Small Series regulations, which allow production of up to 1000 cars a year.
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