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Supercharged Mexican MXT missile

2010-05-26 12:28


Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mastretta
Model MXT
Engine 2-litre, supercharged four-cylinder Duratec
Power 175kW
Torque 250Nm
Transmission five-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 5 seconds
Top Speed 250km/h
Weight 900kg
Tyres Front: 205/45 R17 Rear: 235/45 R17
Front Suspension Independent double-wishbone
Rear Suspension Independent double wishbone
From the land of tequila, impossibly bright Mayan tapestries and fiendishly hot food comes a new lightweight performance car, the Mastretta MXT.

Elise clone?

Due to be showcased next week in London at the British motor show, the Mexican built Mastretta MXT is an unashamed Lotus Elise clone.

Much like the Elise it’s dimensionally diminutive too: only 3.8m long, 1.79m wide and 1.15m tall. With its sculptured flanks, and huge air-intake cut into the body in front of the rear wheels, it really does look the business too.

Technical details are being cagily guarded before its first motor show unveiling but the bodywork and chassis is said to be a blend of chemically bonded aluminium and composites – unsurprisingly it weighs only 900kg.

The semi-monoque chassis is an aluminium job and the body is composite – which you can interpret anyway you wish, but usually it means plastic. Steering is quick at 2.8 turns lock-to-lock, and suspension is the regulation performance biased double-wishbone set-up front and rear.

With its nimble dimensions, low mass and uncompromisingly dynamic suspension design the MXT should be a very rewarding drive for the enthusiast.

Saved by a supercharger

Initially, when the car was first shown in Mexico last year, it was set to only be available with a 147kW, 2.3-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine and performance was hardly going to be headline grabbing.

Performance has in fact been a design foible for the Mastretta brothers, who operate a successful engineering and design consultancy from Mexico city; peculiarly specialising in busses.

After keen interest from the minimalist performance car market in the UK – hallowed ground dominated by Lotus and Caterham – the Mastretta brothers made a serious point of negotiating a decent engine package for their in-house designed lurid orange creation. Subsequently the London show car will sport supercharged Ford power.

Mid-engined, it’s powered by a 2-litre, supercharged four-cylinder Ford Duratec engine producing around 175kW and 250Nm, which should endow it with plenty of accelerative verve. Masretta claims a 5 second 0-100km/h time and top knock of 250km/h.

Brothers Daniel and Carlos Mastretta plans to build around 150 cars in the first year of production, of which 80 will be right-hand drive. Europe, especially small sports car obsessed Brittan, will be a key market for Mastretta as the possibility of the MXT passing US crash safety and emission regulation are highly unlikely.

If initial sales are strong enough to allow capital funding for further development US bound MXTs would be a logical step though, as the North American market is the preeminent performance car sales destination world wide.

Although 150 cars a year is an insignificant figure within the global auto sales matrix, it’s a huge leap for a home-grown Mexican car.


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