VUHL 05: Track Day Car Born in Mexico City, Powered by Detroit and Unveiled in London
Don’t confuse VUHL with Zuul. Zuul is the gatekeeper of Gozer The Destructor from Ghostbusters. VUHL (pronounced “vool”) stands for Vehicles of Ultra High-Performance and Lighweight. I think that may be pushing the whole acronym thing a bit. In any case, they are the Mexico-based maker of the new VUHL 05 supercar. You may recognize the name. They’ve been dropping hints about the VUHL 05 for a few months now prior to its recent debut in the UK.
The brainchild of brothers Guillermo and Iker Echeverria, the VUHL 05 is the latest super-lightweight street-legal track car in the vein of the Caterham Seven, Radical RXC, Tramontana XTR, Innotech Aspiron and KTM X-Bow GT. On looks alone, the brothers Echeverria seem to have hit their mark. But, what do the specs say?
VUHL calls the 05 “ultra-lightweight,” and they’re not kidding. Dry, the whole car weighs a scant 1,532 pounds. The monocoque chassis tips the scales at only 172 pounds. I weigh 172 pounds! I’m one cheeseburger away from weighing more than the VUHL 05’s chassis. Damn. However, the 37/63 weight distribution isn’t ideal. With a ground clearance of 4 inches, a height of 44 inches, a width of 74 inches and a length of 146 inches, the low center of gravity should make up for it. But, I digress. The best cars on Earth are both lightweight and powerful. So, lighweight…check.
Powerful? Check there, too. The VUHL 05 is powered by what seems to be the engine of choice for track day cars, a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0 liter Ford EcoBoost producing 285 horse and 309 pound-feet of torque. Routing the EcoBoost’s power through a six-speed stick shift gearbox to the rear wheels, the VUHL will run from 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds (0-60 is about 3.5 seconds). Top speed is a more-than-sufficient 152 mph.
While a track day car is technically street legal, it’s true home is on a track’s twisties. As such, the VUHL 05 would be utterly useless without good steering, suspension, brakes and tires. Steering comes in the form of a high ratio rack and pinion system. Suspension is double wishbones at both ends.
Stopping power is provided by four-piston calipers at all four corners with 310 mm (12 inch) rotors up front and 280 mm (11 inch) out back. Four-pots are more than enough to bring the 1,532 pound car to rest. Tires are super-sticky Michelins (205/45 x 17 front and 235/45 x 18 rear) on OZ alloys. It seems as though the VUHL 05 has all of the components to make it a worthwhile track day car. We’ll have to see how it performs in the real world…
To begin with, VUHL will be offering the 05 for sale in North America and the UK in Spring 2014 with other countries to follow later. According to the press release, price is set at £55,000 or about $84,000. Be sure to peruse the gallery as this car is the best looking thing to come out of Mexico since Salma Hayek.
Power: 285 hp
Torque: 309 lb-ft
0-62 mph: 3.7 seconds
0-60 mph: ~3.5 seconds
Top Speed: 152 mph
Power-to-Weight Ratio: 400 bhp per tonne (~370 hp per ton)
Width: 1,876 mm (73.9 inches)
Length: 3,718 mm (146.4 inches)
Height: 1,120 mm (44.1 inches)
Wheelbase: 2,300 mm (90.1 inches)
Ground Clearance: 110 mm (4.3 inches)
Dry Weight: 695 kg (1,532.2 pounds)
Curb Weight: 725 kg (1,598.4 pounds)
Weight Distribution: 37/63 (Front/Rear)
AN INNOVATIVE NEW LIGHTWEIGHT SUPERCAR FOR ROAD AND TRACK
Guillermo Echeverria senior, the father of its designers Guillermo and Iker Echeverria, was a professional driver who built and successfully raced his own cars for 30 years. The sons inherited his passion and knowledge and added qualifications in transportation design. Guillermo Junior has direct experience of the performance car industry, while Iker won the Mexican QUORUM Industrial Design Award in 2007 when still a student – he was not only up against fellow scholars but senior designers, agencies and universities.
The brothers subsequently formed their own Mexico City/Detroit-based design agency, ETXE, which having worked on projects for numerous global brands then penned the 05 – a lightweight supercar for road and track in the vein of the BAC Mono, Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow etc.
Said Iker: “Our background means the VŪHL 05 has been developed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We were determined to create a highly intuitive machine that was both stirringly fast and immense fun to drive – a car we ourselves would want to own. We have endeavoured to endow it with class-leading ergonomics and a contemporary silhouette of striking proportions, and the aim of uncompromising build quality has underpinned the project since day one.”
Initial sales will be confined to the UK and North America (dealers are currently under appointment in both countries), but the intention is to make the car available in the other key European countries, China, Middle-East etc in due course.