Zenos Cars have released their first official sketch of the E10 ultra-lightweight sports car, illustrating the design flexibility of their innovative new lightweight platform.
Unlike Caterham’s AeroSeven concept, the E10 is built upon a single ‘backbone’ aluminium extrusion with a carbon composite tub. This delivers exceptional torsional rigidity ‘with’ lightness, and provides plenty of flexibility for the Zenos designers to create stunning cars.
Caterham’s spaceframe chassis, on the other hand, dictates the shape of the car, unless unnecessary weight, complexity and cost is added to extend its outer form.
The resulting design, says CEO and co-founder Ansar Ali, “looks pure and yet edgy, focused and yet accessible, raw and yet ingenious, agile and yet balanced, serious and yet fun.”
The team approached the entire project with the mantra of ‘form follows function’, which co-founder Mark Edwards says “captures the essence of the Zenos brand language and values.” The words ‘rigorous’, ‘accessible’, ‘true’, ‘ingenious’, ‘fun’ and ‘pure’ are pivotal to the brand’s very essence.
If this all sounds like they’ll be priced beyond the reach of the average enthusiast, think again.
The use of recycled carbon has brought the build costs down, a benefit which will be passed on to customers. Same goes with their approach to forming the bodywork, all designed to deliver an affordable customer experience from point of sale right through the passage of ownership. In all, the finished design will have around 15 panels, all designed to ensure they are easy and affordable to replace.
We’ve seen the earliest sketches, before the project became public and the nose section now looks a little longer, smoother and more aerodynamic with less overlap between the wheel-arches and tub – so this latest sketch is close to the final product.
If you like the E10, then you’ll truly love the E11 (2-seat roadster) and E12 (hard top coupé) – their look is unmistakably supercar in a compact, lightweight body, and the styling cues show a strong family resemblance with the company’s track-focused first born.
The E10 is powered by a 200 horsepower mid-mounted naturally aspirated 2.0-litre Ford GDI engine driving the rear wheels, while the E12 will use a forced induction version producing considerably more. With a 650kg kerb weight, Zenos are expecting the E10 to deliver a power-to-weight ratio of around 300 horsepower per ton. Ali simply describes it as ‘thrilling’, which we’ve little reason to doubt.
Zenos plans to release the final design in around two weeks from now, which we’ll share as a 3D model to give you a better feel for how it will look on the road.
This final render will then be used to tool the first launch car, so it’s an exciting (and busy) time for the former Caterham execs as they gear up for the big reveal sometime around the Autosport International show in January.