Mexican bandit steals the limelight

Mexico … famous for tequila, tacos and Salma Hayek. But lightweight, track-focused sports cars haven’t featured on the list of high-profile Mexican icons … until now.

Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the Vuhl 05 has now gone on sale in an initial batch of 20 ‘Edition One’ versions.

The company was founded by Alberto Chapa and brothers Guillermo and Iker Echeverria. The Vuhl name is an acronym derived from "vehicles of light weight and high performance", and the model 05 is named after the number Guillermo and Iker's father used throughout his racing career.

The combination of a bonded aluminium monocoque, featuring honeycomb panels, plus alloy extrusions and reinforced plastic body panels results in a dry weight (no fluids) of just 695kg.

Powered by a 212kW/420Nm, mid-mounted, 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox (with drive going to the rear wheels), its makers claim the 05 sprints from 0-100km/h in 3.7sec, and on to a top speed of 245km/h.

Aimed at the current crop of road-registerable track fliers like the Ariel Atom and Lotus Elise, the car is priced at $104,000 (in Europe), with the initial run of Edition One cars weighing in at $120,000. Vuhl has the capacity to build 50 cars a year at its factory in Mexico City, and there’s no news at this stage on possible import to Australia.

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