February 9, 2009 Last week we ran the news that New Zealand-based Hulme Supercars had demonstrated a 600 bhp two-seat CanAm version of the lightweight carbon fibre machine at the New Zealand round of the A1GP series. A subsequent conversation with Hulme MD Jock Freemantle has revealed the news that a Hulme Spyder will follow the CanAm with a supercharged 640 bhp Chevrolet LS9 engine as used in the ZR1. The initially-announced F1 car will now be third in the development queue.
Hulme Supercars first unveiled a prototype - a closed cockpit derivative of the CanAm - at the UK’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2006, before inviting and assessing further consumer opinion at high-status events in the Middle East and China.
Positive feedback led to the development of the open-top CanAm, and the unveiling of the pre-production car, which will now enter an extensive dynamic testing phase, prior to build of the production model.
The road-legal CanAm features an ultra-lightweight carbon composite tub and bodywork and race-orientated chassis, suspension and braking, and is powered by a hand-built 7-litre (427cu.in) Chevrolet V8 developing 600bhp and 600Nm torque, fed through a close-ratio, six-speed CIMA gearbox.
As a consequence of its lightweight construction, the Hulme CanAm weighs in at less than 1,000kg but, despite its sensational performance and emphatic race car credentials, Hulme Supercars’ design and development focus has been on driveability, with power delivery and handling dynamics optimised for maximum driving enjoyment on track and on the road.
The Hulme CanAm is scheduled for limited production build in 2010, with a proposed ten units to be built at a provisional price of EUR 295,000.