What is it?
Remember the Roush 600 RE variant of the Ford GT? It was a ten-off special edition conceived by Avro Motor Cars of Brooklands and prepared by Roush engineering in Essex, who did a lot of the Ford GT’s development in the first place.
The Avro 720 Mirage is a similar idea. Again it’s commissioned by Avro and prepared by Roush, only this time, for two reasons, the stakes are somewhat higher.
For one, instead of the RE's 600bhp (the regular GT had 550), the Mirage makes 720bhp, courtesy of a larger Whipple supercharger, a new induction system comprising Accufab throttle bodies, and an Accufab ceramic-coated exhaust.
Secondly, unregistered GTs are now getting extremely hard to find. Andy McGrath of Avro reckons that, when he commissioned the 600 RE, there were 300-400 available in the US. Now, there are 30-40, many owned by people who aren’t inclined to sell them.
Nonetheless, Avro is confident it can find ten, at a price that means at least the first five Mirages will retail at £179,950. For that, as well as the seemingly ludicrous amount of power, you get 627lb ft of torque, orange paint with matt black detailing, some identifying trim, a delimited 220mph top speed, uprated AP brakes, a 25mm suspension drop with 5mm wider tracks and adjustable KW Variant suspension.
What’s it like?
Ludicrously, absurdly fast, but not unbearable or un-driveable. In fact, the regular GT’s character is very much intact.
I have in front of me a power and torque graph for the 720 Mirage, measured on Roush’s own rolling road, which I suspect is quite a good one. The power on this model builds extremely linearly from around 150bhp at 1700rpm, to – get this – 745.5bhp at the flywheel at 6550rpm. Yep, 720bhp may be a conservative estimate.
The torque chart curves gently from an already monstrous 450lb ft at just 1500rpm, to its 627lb ft peak at 5660rpm. And that makes the Mirage just as tractable, just as driveable at low revs, as a regular GT.
The suspension modifications means it rides a tad more firmly, with a little more control, but not enough to spoil this car’s approachability and surprising comfort. To be honest, if I hadn’t been told about the suspension tweaks, I’m not sure I’d have noticed much difference.