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First VUHL 05 supercar leaves factory

The first production example of the Mexican-made VUHL 05 sports car has rolled off the production line.

With all-carbon bodywork, the lightweight VUHL is the first of several destined for the Mexican roads this year. The street legal road/track car will soon be heading to the Middle-East, while nearer to home, the first right-hand drive examples passed the IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) test and will shortly be unveiled to the UK media. The appointment of the first British dealership will be the final step on the road to UK sales, with an announcement 'imminent'.

VUHL Technical Director Iker Echeverria said: "We are obviously extremely happy to have entered full-scale production with our 05 model, and experienced the delight of our first customer". VUHL Managing Director Guillermo Echeverria added: "It is naturally very rewarding to have a bank of orders for Mexico and the Middle-East, but we fully recognise the importance of the UK market and have therefore worked especially hard to ready the car for sale in this territory. This has included creating a special all-inclusive launch price of £59,995."

Weighing in at just 695kg, the VUHL is powered by a mid-mounted 285bhp version of Ford's 2.0-litre, DOHC turbocharged EcoBoost engine, which endows it with a 'highly competitive' power-to-weight ratio of 400bhp per ton - sufficient for a 0-60mph time of 3.5 seconds and top speed of over 150mph. Designed and built in Mexico, 40 percent of the 05's components are sourced from the UK.

The chassis comprises a three-section bonded tub constructed from aluminium extrusions and aluminium honeycomb - what VUHL describes as 'aerospace technology' that provides the 05 with a high level of torsional rigidity for optimum handling. Bolted direct to the passenger cell is a chrome-moly steel subframe housing the engine and rear suspension. A three-stage forward crash structure and double layer sidewalls provide a matchless level of protection for the occupants. The standard body is made from GRP, but carbon fibre is an available as an option - it saves over 30kg in weight and the exposed parts can be configured to taste. The cars aerodynamics include a flat underbody, front and lateral splitters, rear diffuser and rear spoiler.

The specification further includes: six-speed manual Ford gearbox, high-ratio rack and pinion steering, suspension by unequal length double wishbones front and rear. Braking comes from four-pot alloy calipers all-round, operating on 310mm ventilated, cross-drilled discs at the front and 280mm ones at the rear. Sparco alloy wheels are shod with Michelin tyres.

Upgrade options include carbon bucket seats with water-resistant Dinamica suede trim, exposed carbon bodywork panels, 330mm quick-release suede-covered steering wheel, electronic data acquisition dash, built-in HD camera, wide range of colours in matt and gloss finish and a titanium bolt pack.