A Ford EcoBoost engine and a spaceframe chassis should make for an interesting combination.
British sports car startup Avatar has debuted its first production car. They call it the Roadster, and it’s definitely intriguing. It'll be shown for the first time at the 2017 Performance Car Show in Birmingham, U.K., and features with more than 100 refinements over the original prototype we saw back in 2016.
Under the hood bonnet is a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ford EcoBoost engine good for 250 horsepower (186 kilowatts). Since it's so light – tipping the scales at just 1,532 pounds (695 kilograms) – the Roadster is able to hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 4.0 seconds and continue on to a top speed of 145 mph (233 kmh).
Buyers can opt for a more powerful 2.3-liter turbocharged engine off a Focus RS, if they so choose, which shaves the 0-60 mph (96 kmh) time down to 3.6 seconds. All that power is handled via a six-speed manual gearbox, or an optional seven-speed paddle-shift sequential racing gearbox.
Though it may not look like the most road-friendly sports car money can buy, it does come with a full leather interior, a heater, air conditioning, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibly at no extra cost. For a bit more, you can add a fixed roof too.
"After showing the prototype we realized that our customers wanted more," said Director of Avatar Sports Car Dylan Popovic. "We listened and have responded to our customers who loved the superb performance and fine handling but wanted more refinement and features so they could use the car for more than just track days."
Thanks to a spaceframe chassis and a composite body, Avatar says that its Roadster provides a "pure track experience," and even comes with features like a full roll cage, a fire extinguisher (just in case), a data logger, and GoPro HD camera compatibility. Production will begin this spring, with prices starting at £39,990 ($49,115).
After unveiling the prototype in 2016, British sports car company Avatar is presenting the first production Avatar at the 2017 Performance Car Show, held at the Birmingham NEC on 12-15th January 2017. Now fully certified, the Devon-based firm has developed the prototype, making over 100 refinements to offer a 250bhp sports car that is now equally at home on road or track.
The 695kg Avatar retains the high-quality componentry such as the Ford Ecoboost engine, Nitron dampers and Rota wheels that deliver 0-60mph in four seconds and a top speed of 145mph and adds a leather interior, heated screen together with other features to broaden the appeal. New no-cost options now include an Apple CarPlay + Android Auto audio system, roof, heater and air conditioning.
“After showing the prototype we realised that our customers wanted more. We listened and have responded to our customers who loved the superb performance and fine handling but wanted more refinement and features so they could use the car for more than just track days,” says Avatar Sports Cars director Dylan Popovic. “We’ve smoothed the raw edges to create a much more rounded package. We’ve changed the suspension geometry, adjusted the steering rack ratios and improved the ergonomics in the cabin with intuitive switchgear as well as developed features that make the car a delight on the road and track.”
Alongside the 2.0 turbocharged Ecoboost engine, Avatar is also offering a 2.3l 350bhp option that sees 0-60 times cut to just 3.6 seconds with the Ford Focus RS-engined derivative using a six-speed transaxle. Drivers seeking a more frenetic shifting experience can opt for a paddle-shift operated seven-speed sequential Quaife gearbox.
The car’s bespoke laser-cut spaceframe chassis and attractive composite bodywork is retained, alongside the offset driving position that improves weight distribution. The option for a pure track experience hasn’t been forgotten and customers can specify a full roll cage, plumbed-in extinguisher, foam-filled tank, data logger, GoPro HD camera kit, rear wing and LSD. “With these additions the car is eligible for a considerable number of club championships whilst still be road legal,” adds Popovic.
Niche company Avatar is fervently focused on delivering a personal service to ensure each customer receives a vehicle that meets the most exacting requirements. This exceptional level of customer service is being driven by company founder Terry Matthews, who has over three decades of experience developing bespoke vehicles with sister sports car manufacturer Marlin. “We produce and set up every car so the way it performs and handles meets each individual’s requirements,” says Matthews, Avatar founder and Marlin Sports Cars director. “We will create the car around the customer so they feel that it fits them perfectly, like a glove. Maybe they prefer stiffer suspension, a slightly higher ride height is needed to cope with an awkward driveway or the customer has a very
specific colour or trim design in mind for the leather interior. We offer a bespoke service where the only real limit is imagination.”
Avatar’s sister company Marlin is manufacturing the production models, of which no more than 50 will be built. “All that has been learned from Marlin’s long-standing history is being passed on and incorporated into Avatar – it’s an extremely exciting project for us,” adds Matthews.
Whilst still a small company, Avatar is matching its bigger competitors with an unlimited mileage, three-year warranty and the reassurance the Ford engine can be serviced at any Ford dealer.
Production begins in spring 2017 and prices start at £39,990.