World Debut in London for Sports Car that’s the Pride of Mexico
By Andy Bannister
The 150mph MXT coupe – being shown in “penultimate prototype” form – is seriously intended to compete with the likes of Lotus and Porsche. It will, however, dramatically undercut them on price, and be pitched against other rivals from BMW and Audi.
When it goes on sale in the UK in mid-2009 (remarkably, in right hand drive form) it is likely to cost £33,000 ($66,000), with sales limited to 80 units in a year.
The rear-wheel drive MXT should hit 60mph in under five seconds and its 2.0-litre supercharged Duratec engine produces 240bhp. The lightweight car pumps out 267bhp per tonne – almost 50bhp more than a Porsche Cayman S.
The importers say the car is aimed at thrill seekers who also have an eye to the environment. These would-be owners want to have fun and enjoy driving without causing damage through their car’s excessive weight and power.
Constructed from bonded aluminium, the semi-monocoque chassis features aircraft style technology. Direct race-car feel comes through rack and pinion steering with 2.8 turns lock to lock, whilst 293mm ventilated brake discs with ABS as standard guarantee it can stop just as quickly as it goes
Stylistically the car looks spot on, with an aggressive and sculpted shape in fibreglass, which could easily be Italian in origin. A leather-trimmed interior completes what’s promised to be a world-class package.
Mastretta is the family company of designer Daniel Mastretta, and was founded in Mexico City in 1987. The company has been involved in styling everything from bottles to buses in the past.
Previous automotive ventures have included a Porsche Speedster replica, a beach buggy and a VW Beetle-based coupe, but the MXT is by far the company’s most ambitious car-related undertaking to date.
The Mastretta family say their aim is to make Mexicans proud that their country can produce a sports car which can compete on a global stage.
Mexico, of course, is already quite a major player in automobile production, with many multinationals taking advantage of the country’s low labour costs and proximity to the giant US market, where the MXT is also eventually heading – if all goes to plan.
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