Most car designs start with a sketch or a packaging idea. Zenos, however, started with a number, or rather a price: £24,995. Everything else hinged around Zenos’s ability to offer the E10 for that amount of money.
When it came to the mechanical make-up of the E10 that price, as much as any engineering ideal, is responsible for the way it is set up. Zenos sources the 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost engine and manual transmission from powertrain supplier Hendy Power and retains the driveshafts, hubs and bearings. That, in turn, dictates that the engine sits behind the occupants and sets the width of the car.
Ahead of the engine bay sits a monocoque with a single central extrusion at its core, around which is bonded a composite tub that features a thermosetting plastic core and recycled carbon fibre skins. You have to clamber over the latter in order to get in, because there are no doors. Zenos claims that the skin material itself retains 75 percent of the rigidity of a pure carbon fibre tub and possesses a torsional rigidity of 12,000Nm per degree. And because the carbon fibre itself is made from offcuts, it only costs a tenth of the price of virgin carbon fibre.