What is it?
The Sin R1 is the supercar from Bulgaria, a country without a proud automotive heritage.
In fact, there aren’t many countries on this continent that could be accused of having a more dire motoring history. The former communist state has been home to a handful of car factories over the years, mostly foreign-owned and almost always churning out miserable tin boxes and joyless utilitarian workhorses, but thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of one man, it now has a supercar company of its very own.
Sin Cars, based in Ruse, on the Romanian border, is the brainchild of Rosen Daskalov. The company’s first road car, the R1 550, is a mid-engined, V8-powered arrowhead of a car that produces more power than the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. And that’s not even the really quick variant.
Forty-something Daskalov strides around the Sin Cars factory like a man with too much to do and too little time to do it. His phone never stops ringing. He thinks and talks fast, but when he gets onto describing his cars or telling tales of racing them there’s a child-like enthusiasm and a boyish laugh. The facade of his sprawling facility in the north of Bulgaria is ultra-slick and modern - the factory doubles up as an official BMW service centre - but in the back, where the R1s are built, the place is rough-and-ready.
"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.