What is it?
The Zenos E10 R: the new ultimate version of the lightweight British sports car introduced by Caterham ex-pats Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards in 2014. We drove it in prototype form late last year, but now the chassis tune is signed off, the ink on the order forms is dry, and we can find out what the finished article is really like.
This is one of the more tempting track-intended two-seaters on the market right now for two very good reasons: it’s powered by the same 2.3-litre turbocharged engine you’ll find in the blockbusting new Ford Focus RS, and it’s priced at less than £40,000. So it’s got more power and torque than Caterham’s new 620S and costs £6000 less: and an even greater amount less than Ariel’s excellent Atom 3.5R.
The most important mechanical changes away from the 40% power hike have been made to the car’s running gear – as you’d expect. The Avon ZZR performance tyres are the same as those offered as an option on the E10 and E10 S, but lightweight OZ forged alloy wheels save 2.5kg of unsprung mass per corner, while the car’s spring rates have been increased by 10% at the front axle and 20% at the rear.
The car’s Bilstein dampers have been uprated, with even firmer 10-setting adjustable items made available as an option. For stopping, the car uses enlarged front discs and Alcon four-pot calipers as standard, and there are enlarged hydraulic master cylinders available as an option too. Finally, some extra toe-out angle at the front wheels promises to bolster stability mid-corner and under hard braking.
The overhaul isn’t huge, and deliberately that way in order that it can be retrofitted to existing Zenos owners’ cars, for those that would rather upgrade than replace. Which is just another example of this clever little British start-up putting its customers first.