New boutique automaker Zenos targets the track with ultralight E10 roadster
By C.C. Weiss
October 9, 2013
The track-inspired roadster market continues to grow. In the past few months, we've seen the all-new VŪHL 05, the Caterham AeroSeven, and now, the Zenos E10. Britain's Zenos Cars launched last month with plans to introduce the E10 next year. Based on initial sketches, its first car will be a quick, lightweight roadster that combines classic and modern styling cues.
The initial sketches suggest that the Zenos E10 will be a fully open, lightweight, street-legal track car that's more full bodied car, less "grown up go cart", than something like the Ariel Atom. Like the aforementioned VŪHL and Caterham models, the E10 is powered by a 2.0-liter Ford engine. In this case, it's a GDI four-cylinder that's normally aspirated and mounted amidship. It puts out 200 hp at 7,200 rpm and 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) at 6,100 rpm, routing output to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Zenos founders Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards previously served as CEO and COO at Caterham, and both also had experience at Lotus prior to that. Early indications are that the duo will look to update the thrilling, affordable, open-air rides offered by those two marques. The E10 is sized closely to the Lotus Elise and appears to be a sort of rawer, lighter, more track-focused alternative.
A 200-hp Ford engine may not sound all that inspiring to ambitious weekend track hounds, but like its competitors, the E10's real secret is in its low weight. The car's minimalist design begins with a carbon-composite tub/aluminum chassis. That keeps its weight down to 1,433 lb (650 kg), allowing for a zippy 4.5-second 0-60 mph time. According to Autocar, Zenos also has plans for more powerful supercharged varieties later on.
Other E10 specs include double wishbone front and rear suspension with Bilstein dampers up front, Alcon 2-pot racing calipers up front, OZ wheels (16-in front, 17-in back) and Avon ZZR tires. Available options will include a six-speed transmission, limited slip differential, race harness, and full roll cage.
Clearly aimed at short track bursts, not long, winding grand tours, the E10 interior features driver and passenger pockets separated by a middle spine, based upon sketches. A multi-function LCD driver display will keep the driver tuned in to performance metrics.
Zenos aims to introduce the E10 next year, and it has already teased its next cars, which both appear a little more road oriented. The E11 roadster and E12 hard-top are scheduled for a 2018 debut, according to Zenos' website.