Since the company was launched last Autumn they’ve been inundated with requests to sell their ultra-lightweight E10 sports car in the States. Its combination of class-leading affordability and exotic construction made it a hit at this year’s Autosport International Show, with more than a dozen orders taken during the weekend.
Of course it’s no simple (or cheap) task to homologate a carbon-based two-seater sports car in the land of the free. Rumour has it that Lotus spent more than $30 million to gain U.S. type approval for the Elise, although much of that involved reverse engineering features which had been designed purely for European markets.
The E10 will come full assembled, less engine, as per U.S. rules, so it’s technically a kit although not in the same way we’ve come to understand with Caterham. In the case of Zenos, the car ships fully assembled, so dealers just slip in the engine, add fluids and it’s ready to go
Rumour suggests Lotus may adopt a similar method for the Evora, now that its exemption from federal airbag regs has expired.
The 1430 pound E10 integrates a single ‘backbone’ aluminium extrusion with a carbon composite monocoque to deliver optimal torsional rigidity, while utilising recycled carbon fibre with a novel thermoplastic core for the tub material. Such an approach delivers strength and performance without the production and replacement costs normally associated with carbon-based sports cars.
Likewise the E10 is truly spacious inside, catering for people ranging from 5’1 to 6’3 in height, with a crash structure which already accommodates the differing shapes and sizes of real customers – a fully encased steel safety cell comprising twin roll-hoops and side-impact bars is integrated within the carbon monocoque, while the engine is encased in a rear extruded sub-frame that is removable to facilitate assembly and repairs.
READ THIS: Behind the Story: Zenos Cars
The E10 will sold in a special Launch Edition which includes a limited slip differential as standard with in-board Bilstein dampers, a four-point racing harness, bespoke Zenos composite seats, quick release steering wheel, Launch Edition Red paint and more. Pricing for the E10 Launch Edition will start at $43,750 plus domestic shipping and taxes, while the regular E10 starts at $39,500.
Zenos Cars USA has been co-founded by Randy Chase and Joe Schroeter, both of whom are as much keen enthusiasts as hard-nosed business men. They’ll have offices on both coasts and foster the spirit of Zenos ownership through community based car events. Randy previously founded ChaseCam, suppliers of data and video recording products and is active in the online communities Lotustalk.com and Britishspeed.com.
“There is something special about the people that appreciate a pure driving experience and who understand what low vehicle weight translates to on the street or track. I can’t think of a car that will more perfectly fit this niche than the Zenos E10. Ali and the team at Zenos also are truly car guys who get it. We are thrilled to be partnered with them” said Chase.
“We have always hoped the essence of the Zenos brand and its products would sit easily with the US motoring community of “light is right” aficionados,” said Ansar Ali, Chief Executive of Zenos Cars. “Randy and Joe are the very epitome and we are delighted to be helping them establish Zenos Cars in the US.”