It seems like there is a new electric or alt-fuel sportscar coming out of Europe every week, each more exotic and exciting than the last. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these cars turn out to be vaporware.
That sketch above? That’s the Izaro GTe—a slinky electric GT envisioned by a bunch hot-blooded Spaniards. But the Izaro is different from the vaporware pretenders in one key area: it’s real.
Find out more, after the jump.
The teaser sketches shown here reveal the design language of Izaro’s first offering. Izaro’s directors promise that an official reveal will come later this year, and promise that fully-road-legal production of the lithium-ion batteried exoticar will begin before the end of this year. Izaro has promised investors that the car will be priced (and profitable!) at approx. 55,000 Euro.
The car’s dead-sexy looks and promises of spirited, long range drives through the Spanish country side come courtesy of the Izaro’s extensive use of lightweight composites and a stiff, spaceframe chassis… all of which begs the question: How did an unknown car-maker, based in a company with zero effective auto industry experience (Seat is run by VW in Germany), manage to scrape up a for-real exotic, with for-real technology, and put it all together at a for-real price?
The answer, of course, is that they didn’t.
The Izaro GTe is based on Factory Five Racing’s $19,990 GTM supercar.
The GTM is a do-it-yourself exotic capable (in theory) of taking on-track battles directly to Porsche, Ferrari, and others. I have a bit of direct experience with Factory Five from the early days of my career (back in the late 90’s) and I can testify to the firm’s engineering and coach-building skills, and they’ve put unholy amounts of money into developing the GTM’s chassis and aero package over the past decade.
That wind-tunnel? Serious. Money.
The Factory Five boys were ready to loose their trackday terror onto the world right as the real-estate bubble burst and the sub-prime credit crises drove the market for DIY sportscars into the toilet. I don’t know for sure what their sales projections were for the GTM, but I would bet they weren’t anticipating the financial hurdles of 2008 (and today!).
You can almost hear the dialog in the company founder’s head. “It’s perfect! We’ll buy a few of these cars, create our own custom-look, fill the made-for-V8 engine bay with electric motors and battery packs, then buy the cars as kits from Factory Five
when if we sell them.”
Throw a little of that Latin flair for design into a bit of custom bodywork to separate it from Factory Five’s GTM (nothing too crazy, though – don’t want to waste all those wind-tunnel dollars) and viola! Instant world-class exotic.
If all of that sounds like criticism, it isn’t. It’s sour grapes. I wish I had thought of it, first!!
PHOTO CREDITS: Factory Five Racing, Izaro.