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Zenos e10 video review


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Reminds me of the old Red Rose tea commercials we used to see here in Canada....

 

"Only in Canada you say?

Pity!"

 

Only in this case I presume it is only available in the UK. No self respecting North American beurocrat would ever allow such a fun car on this side of the pond!

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Once you see it in person, it is even more amazing. We had a long talk with Ansar in UK this last January and the thing that struck me the most, was he had the perfect reply for every question. They designed this car as I would have designed it. Better torsional rigidity than a Lotus Elise. Designed for quick and cheap replacement for small offs (19 separate body panels that all bolt on). Designed also that a small off will not cause expensive damage with suspension pick up points moved inward and front dampers in board. And most importantly, was the questions I had for him about company and finances and business plans. No smoke and mirrors. Very sensible. Well funded. Not just a bloke in a shed in UK with a car idea!

 

Plus, the guys running this company... are really refreshing open and candid. They bring their experience from Lotus and Caterham, to take it to the next level.

 

As to your question. The occupant is protected first by a steel crash structure with steel side beams, as well as the recycled carbon fiber thermoplastic tub. The tub uses a pretty interesting technology that was developed by one the partners of Zenos to meet the rigidity and safety specifications, but at a reasonable cost. Using sheets of recycled carbon fiber (from companies such as McLaren), the sheets are the bread in a sandwich that is made from an interior that is a honeycomb of recycled drinking straws. This creates a structure more akin to a surfboard, and when formed in the shape of a tub, becomes very strong.

 

There is a track cage option also. I have not seen it yet. But it is listed with the track options.

Edited by randychase
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Justin,

 

Joe will be taking delivery of a car around February, so it will be in San Diego. That car is scheduled for build in January and Joe is flying to become familiar with the mechanicals of the car. It should be on the road soon after for a test drive. :)

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Steve Sutcliffe wrote the article that accompanies that video in the original post.

 

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/zenos-e10-driven-lotus-beater

 

Then he wrote this blog which rings very true for me also:

 

http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/new-cars/zenos-cars-place-where-customer-king

Randy - Your best guess for the drive home cost with expected/necessary options (windscreen, heater, updated brakes, drivetrain, etc.)?

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Justin,

 

Joe will be taking delivery of a car around February, so it will be in San Diego. That car is scheduled for build in January and Joe is flying to become familiar with the mechanicals of the car. It should be on the road soon after for a test drive. :)

 

Will look forward to seeing it! There aren't many options for a lightweight car with an aerodynamic body. I would love to see a hard top version of it.

Edited by sdca7
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Randy - Your best guess for the drive home cost with expected/necessary options (windscreen, heater, updated brakes, drivetrain, etc.)?

 

Kind of like building a Caterham, the answer will have a pretty wide range. You certainly do not need uprated brakes for example, but they are an option, as well as dry sump, adjustable dampers, uprated springs, etc etc etc.

 

When I was selling Caterhams, I used to tell people that options fell into 4 categories.

 

1. You really want this. Seriously. Trust me. Two examples being side sill protection and rear wing protection.

2. You may or may not want this, that is up to you. But if you do, order it with the car. Examples include rollcage, harnesses, upgraded roll bar, fire extinguisher, battery cut off, LSD, heater, spare tire.

3. You may or may not want this, and you can order it later if you decide that it made sense to have it. Weather top, tonneau cover, carpet, deflectors.

4. I really can't understand why anyone wants this.

 

With the Zenos, we are still sorting out how things fall into the categories. We took a hard look at the option list for our demo car that is going into build and concluded we thought we should get the windscreen (if it is ready by then). Having said that, if I was ordering a car, one could always add the windscreen later as it is a simple bolt on, so it really falls into category 3. But there is the shipping logistics which pushes it back to category 2.

 

We also decided to get the battery cut off. As to install it later would probably be a pain.

 

The rest, I declined. Consider of course that the demo car is not a purposed track car, so no need for the track options. This is for street. I have yet to see what the differences are in some of the options (such as exhaust, dampers) so not sure it makes sense. And again, I figured some of these I could swap later.

 

So not including engine and gearbox, we are around $42K. We are working out the source and costs for the engine and gearbox, but I know you can buy used refurb engines for under $1000 (all the Caterhams we built were done with used low mile engines, positive being already broken in). And gearboxes for $2K. If you elect a new FoMoCo crate engine, I expect it maybe about $3.5-4K? Not sure.

 

Just a wild guess, but installs should not be a large labor component as one is not building the car.

 

So having said all that... I think people will be spending around $43-48K, not including domestic freight and taxes.

 

Heater and Zenon lighting have been dropped from the options. In the place of heater are heated seats. The lights were dropped because they are not cheap and yet out of 50+ orders, not one has requested upgraded lights. Perhaps a statement that is less a night time cruiser.

 

I think the heater change was because of the added complexity for this pure of a car, for plumbing, fan, duct work. Easier to offer a plug in seat option.

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Maybe this question is a bit inflammatory but I am curious....

 

Everything I have seen suggests a complete car sells for £24995 in the UK, which converts to just over $40k in US funds.

How does that balloon to more than that for a roller on this side of the pond?

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Maybe this question is a bit inflammatory but I am curious....

 

Everything I have seen suggests a complete car sells for £24995 in the UK, which converts to just over $40k in US funds.

How does that balloon to more than that for a roller on this side of the pond?

 

Actually a roller here is slightly less than that if you are comparing the like cars. If you are including the drivetrain, then we are about $5-6K more. But..then add in the costs for crating, shipping, and customs. As Jon from Denver told me, expect to spend about $6K per car. Maybe I can do better than that, but he had a lot of experience in this area. The cars in the UK do not include those costs that I have to account for.

Edited by randychase
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I think most any time, if you price a UK built car and compare the pricing in the UK vs the USA, you are going to find that the USA price is higher, and with certain companies, the price is LOT higher.

 

The exception is a company allowing a loss leader to gain market. But consider that the Zenos was not coming over to USA. We were not part of the business plan.

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I think the Zenos is a really interesting option. Similar in concept to the Seven, but with aero that doesn't try to get airborne at high speed. A 40/60 weight distribution is pretty much perfect (definitely preferred over 50/50). I suspect the Zenos is a lot safer in impacts too. The Zenos is heavier, so I'd have to budget for a bigger motor to stay in the 5lbs/bhp realm. I figure the way I'd spec mine it would be $50-60k, which isn't all that much more than I have in my used Birkin.

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