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Reynard's inverted road racer

2010-08-11 07:16

Have number plate, will travel. Reynard’s crazy track focussed Inverter has now been adapted for road use.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Reynard
Model Inverter
Engine 1-1.34l in-line four
Power 120-147kW
Weight 445kg
Despite a preponderance of speed enforcing cameras and London’s ridiculous congestion charge, the United Kingdom remains one of the world’s best locations for petrolheads.

A rich motorsport history and level of engineering craftsmanship have ensured a niche performance car industry that survives even today, after most of the British motor industry has been destroyed by labour inefficiency and mismanagement.

What this means is that the British government (that selfsame institution keen on hiding speed cameras everywhere) does allow quite a lot of latitude to individuals who wish to own rather improbable road cars.

Thanks to the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) process, one-offs and low volume cars can be approved for commuting use - even if they meet only a rudimentary set of road car homologation regulations.

To gain IVA approval you only need a car with head- and taillights, turn signal indicators and seat belts. Nothing much really. This state of affairs has now germinated a new track-based road car from legendary racing outfit, Reynard.

At one stage the world’s largest producer of racing chassis, Reynard went bankrupt back in 2002 – despite utterly dominating F3000 and American open-wheel racing for years.

Reynard was resurrected last year and now has a new racer out, called the Inverter.

The neat bit is how IVA has allowed Reynard to produce a road-going version of the Inverter – a car which is plainly mad.

Reynard euphemistically refers to the Inverter as a '2-seater sportscar with a track focus and road legal option'. What this means in plain terms is that it is a racing car with indicators.

One mad mid-engined road car

Composite bodywork houses an upper and aft diffuser arrangement augmented by front and rear wings. These aerodynamic trimmings generate 1 180kg of maximum downforce, which is a lot considering the Inverter only weighs 445kg.

At its core the Inverter’s chassis is a 55kg steel spaceframe reinforced with composite floor sections. The car’s four wheels are each suspended by individual TIG welded wishbones, with oscillation managed by Nitron NTR adjustable dampers.

With its low mass, powerful airflow management package and all-wheel independent suspension the Inverter should offer unrivalled agility and dynamics and is even designed to crash with some sympathy to occupants, sporting a collapsible steering column courtesy of the Ford Ka.

Powering the Inverter is a choice of three engines.

Potential customers can option two motorbike engines, Honda’s 1 000cc Fireblade unit or Suzuki’s 1 340cc Hayabusa mill.

Producing 120- and 147kW respectively, these Niponese bike engines should ensure an authentic competition driving experience, even for a short journey to the shop to stock up on snacks during halftime on a Saturday afternoon.

For those Inverter customers planning to drive their cars each and every day as commuters (and there such individuals, we think) Reynard is readying an optional the 2l Ford Duratec engine.

With greater swept capacity and power available at less manic crankspeeds, this pending Duratec Inverter is the one to have for the school run.

The Inverter runs 16-inch wheels rolling Toyo Proxes R888 tyres – a set-up not recommend for indiscretion when it is raining.

Cabin embellishments are predictably sparse with a Farrington steering wheel, Tillett seats, Tilton Pedals and AIM data logger.

At R400 000 the Inverter is hardly cheap in relative terms. With Reynard claiming 3g cornering potential, you can’t severely strain your neck for less though.

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