"My father raced cars," explains Daskalov, "and I raced karts as a child for the Bulgarian national team. I’ve spent my whole life in garages surrounded by cars."
He stopped competing when he left home to study engineering at university, and then went on to set up a workshop. His spare parts operation grew into a successful business, but having worked hard for many years to build his own little empire, Daskalov one day realised he missed racing. "I bought a kart in Germany the next day and started to race again," he says.
His passion had been reignited. Before long, he found he had an urge to establish a sports car company of his own and, in 2012, Sin Cars was formed.
The company was initially based in the UK, but a number of false starts and a parting of ways from a British business partner meant it would be several years before a car was delivered to a customer. Now based in Bulgaria, Sin Cars has built some 20 R1s, the company has a busy GT4 racing programme and it’s gearing up to produce as many as 30 cars each year. There are more powerful derivatives in the pipeline and all-new models on the horizon, too.
Powering the Sin R1 range
For now the R1 range consists of three models – the 450, 550 and 650, the middle variant which we are driving here. The entry-level 450 is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 443bhp, while the 550 pumps out 542bhp from its 7.0-litre, naturally aspirated V8. Topping the range is the 650, which pumps out 641bhp from its supercharged 6200cc V8 engine.
The R1 is based on a custom steel spaceframe chassis, constructed on site. The gearbox is a Graziano six-speed manual, although buyers can also specify a sequential ‘box, while the in-board suspension features adjustable Ohlins dampers. The car has a limited slip differential, the brakes are supplied by AP Racing and the carbonfibre bodywork is all handmade at the factory. Daskalov styled the R1 himself.
Its 7.0-litre V8 isn’t simply lowered into the chassis untouched. Sin Cars replaces the pistons and bearings with higher-spec items, adds dry-sump lubrication, a bespoke exhaust and Motec management. The result is 542bhp, 472lb ft, 0-62mph in 3.5sec and 186mph flat out. Dry, the R1 weighs 1300kg. For buyers who want yet more performance, the supercharged R1 650 should tick the right boxes.
Even though the R1 is predominantly a GT4 car built for the road, Sin has peppered it with a few creature comforts including a leather and Alcantara upholstery, electrically folding and heated door mirrors, and air conditioning. Those wanting to use their R1 on track can opt for the RS version, which gains numerous improvements based on the GT4 race car, making it more track-focused.
Even with a near-€200,000 asking price, Daskalov says he has enough serious enquiries to see him through five years of production. He’s busy appointing dealers across the world and UK distributor Clayton Kingman is negotiating with sales outlets right now.
Unleashing the monstrous Sin R1
The R1 is aimed at people who reckon Ferrari 488 GTBs are predictable, commonplace and just a little bit dull. The car’s exclusivity and extrovert styling are its key selling points.
Beneath a blazing Eastern European sun, the R1 certainly has presence. Its snug cabin is neatly trimmed in soft leather and the bespoke seats give a near-perfect low-slung, reclined seating position. The switchgear, though, feels somewhat low-rent.