Opting for an engine like that gives you a vast amount of future potential as well, as a few tweaks, or the addition of a couple of turbochargers, can soon see the car's performance figures rivalling that of much, much more costly alternatives.
So, it was with some apprehension that I attended the launch of the Keating 'The Bolt'. I wanted it to be good, a viable and marketable product. I wasn't expecting something with the fit and finish of a Porsche, and I was hoping for some sign that yes, someone might actually want to buy a Keating.
I was also ready to accept that it might command a seemingly unrealistic and unattainable price tag. Small volume cars like these are typically expensive anyway, but there are always people out there who have the money to spend on incredibly rare or noteworthy cars.
Before I even saw the car, however, I was handed a bit of paper that killed the whole thing stone dead for me. Keating said that its new car would cost £750,000.
Let's think about that. Seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds. That's almost £100,000 more than the recently announced Porsche 918 Spyder. Over £500,000 more than a Ferrari 458 Italia. A mere £688,505 more than the new Corvette C7.
Admittedly Dr Keating, CEO of Keating Supercars, did say that he hoped increased demand and a refined production process could bring the price of an entry-level model down to £150,000. That, while still expensive, was more within the realms of sensibility for a heavily customised and high-performance car from a small manufacturer.
Nevertheless, after having seen the car up close and in person, I can't imagine the demand will be significant enough to help him achieve his goal. The prototype is finished to a very poor standard and even simple elements - like the paint job - haven't been attended to in any great detail.
Underneath, there's a fairly basic and agricultural-looking tubular chassis. On top of that sits poorly fitting composite bodywork, replete with orange-peeled paintwork, shoddy weather sealing and amateurish detailing that reminds me more of Halfords than Hennesey.
Inside you'll find a cramped, low-rent interior with the obligatory pair of re-trimmed leather bucket seats, a tacky steering wheel and limited instrumentation. The high point? Probably the Alpine head unit. The low point? The bolt-shaped door handles. Not ergonomic, certainly not stylish. The interior mirror had fallen off as well, although it was quickly recovered and spirited away out of sight.
The fact that the doors drop a few centimetres when you open them tells you all you need to know, but at least with them open you can see the advanced 'space-age' composite panelling in its raw, unpainted form. Or what might actually be carbon fibre-effect sheet stuck over the orange paint.
You're probably thinking that, at this point, this sounds exactly like a car that's bolted, nailed and glued together by a handful of people in a shed on a farm. Which, unfortunately, is pretty much the case.
Mechanically there was nothing remarkable - not necessarily a negative point - about the car. But there was also nothing to suggest that it should command a £750,000 price tag, or even a £150,000 price tag. Even £50,000 seems steep, and you can pick up similar kits or complete cars for far less.