The South African-built Perana Z-one is going to Geneva next week with its 330kW (449hp) 6.2-litre V8. Full production is to start not long after Geneva.

Known for producing volume cars like the VW Golf and HUMMER H3, the South African town of Port Elizabeth is steadily building a nice repertoire of niche sports cars as well. The coastal town already makes Shelby Cobra replicas and Noble supercars for the world. Joining this elite two-some is the Perana Z-One of which a fair amount has been said lately.

Designed by Italian design consultancy and engineering house Zagato the Z-one packs a 6.2-litre LS3 Corvette V8 engine worth 330kW. All that power goes to the 345/30/19 Michelin rear tyres while the steering wheel keeps the 275/35/18 front tyres on the road. Control of the Z-One is left very much to the driver since ABS for the 325mm front brake discs and ESP systems are nowhere to be found. There is a limited slip differential (LSD) fitted though so take-off and some of the handling challenges are tackled in this way. The Z-One could prove quite a mission for the driver to contain it since Perana is imposing a 1,195kg maximum weight limit on it.

Ultimate production will be limited to 999 units and European pricing is expected to hover around the €50,000 region. But first it must be scrutinised by the educated public and critical world media at the 2009 Geneva International Motor Show next week. Soon after a European dealer network will be finalised and production will begin.


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