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Offline AshSimmonds

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Offline AshSimmonds

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Press from last year:

Quote
Elfin’s Caterham Bashing ‘Type 5’

PressPortal has had the opportunity to have a sneak peak of what seems to be a new breed of Australian performance, the Elfin ‘Type 5’.

With less than one month before the company launches its new ‘Type 5’ (production name still under wraps), PressPortal met with Elfin spokesman Gary Beer, to gain some insight on the new model.

The ‘Type 5’ is a brand new car from the ground up, with buyers expected to get a new chassis, exterior styling, interior design and a newly sourced engine. We were lucky enough to be shown images of the new car, and wow, it takes the style of the existing MS8 and turns it up even more. I last felt this kind of excitement from the design of a track car when Lotus unveiled the now out of production 340R a number of years back.

Following on from the success of the V8 powered MS8 Clubman and MS8 Streamliner, the ‘Type 5’ will enable Elfin to go head to head with track cars such as the Lotus Elise, Caterham 7 and the Ariel Atom.

Whilst Elfin are keeping the ‘Type 5’s’ official details under wraps, we were able to squeeze out some very interesting facts. Expect a weight of approx. 750 kg depending on spec level with a 4 cylinder engine to produce around 200kW of power and 350Nm of torque. Pressportal predicts that the power plant will be sourced from General Motors and is most likely to be the engine that currently powers the Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT / Saturn Sky Redline in Europe and America. In these cars the 2.0L turbocharged engine produces 260bhp and 260ft-lb. These performance figures in the featherweight ‘Type 5’ will be breathtaking to say the least.

The vision for the new model came from Tom Walkinshaw who has owned the bespoke manufacturer as well as Holden Special Vehicles (think Brabus to Mercedes Benz) for the last few years. Tom lives in the UK and saw the growth in his own country of 4 cylinder engine track cars and thought, “Why isn’t Elfin playing in this field?”

The previous 4 cylinder Elfin, the Type 3 went out of production when the MS8 range entered production in late 2006.

Whilst GM designer Michael Simcoe penned the MS8 (the guy who headed up Holden design around the start of the decade and is credited for the beautiful Holden Monaro / Vauxhall VXR Monaro), the new ‘Type 5’ styling is the work of the key HSV designers Julian Quincy and Adam Dean Smith.

So how much will buyers expect to pay for this kind of performance? This is where it gets really exciting. Elfin is targeting a remarkable price of only $65,000 in Australia! For reference the similar weight Lotus Elise costs $69,990 for the 100kW ‘S’ variant, $94,990 for the 141kW R variant and $104,990 for the 163kW ‘SC’ variant. The ‘Type 5’ although road legal, will be positioned closer to a pure track car making the track only Caterham SVR 200 (priced at $107,700!) a better fit as a direct competitor.

Elfin is watching the dollar closely before deciding on a price for the UK market and will disclose this after the Australian launch.

Watch out Caterham!

http://pressportal.com.au/news/507/ARTICLE/2654/2008-07-18.html

.Lotus Elise SCElfin ‘Type 5’Caterham SVR 200
Power163kW*200kW147kW
Torque211.8Nm*350Nm225Nm
Weight870kg*750kg677kg
0-100km/hr4.6sec*3.7sec3.9sec
Price$104,990*$65,000$107,700

*PressPortal prediction and approximates



Offline flamestone

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It does look uber cool.   ;)

So when are we test driving this one then?



Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote
First drive: Elfin Type 5 Clubman

Steve Colquhoun, drive.com.au, December 8, 2008
It's far from a daily driver, but the Elfin T5 is one of the closest things to a race car for the road.


To best understand what Elfin's new Type 5 Clubman is all about, plot a line in your mind with a go-kart at one extreme and a Formula 1 racer at the other. The mid point is the Elfin T5 Clubman.

The Elfin T5 doesn't have anything like F1 levels of power or grip, but its power-to-weight ratio exceeds a Porsche 911 Turbo and its go-kart-like grip means you can attack corners - especially in a closed track environment - with a distinct disregard for the laws of physics.

On either road or track, driving the Elfin T5 is a raw, visceral experience. The loud, raspy exhaust just over your left shoulder dominates the senses.

On a 30km road loop of typically corrugated country roads, every lump and bump translates through the optional 17-inch Goodyear Eagle tyres, straight up your spine and rattles your fillings. Hitting highway speeds without the optional door covers fitted, the wind buffets your right ear and tears at your clothes. Still, you won't be able to wipe the smile off your face, even if you will be wiping bugs from your teeth.

Transferring the experience to the smoother surfaces and more predictable radiuses of a racetrack only brings more opportunity to savour the directness of the steering and the freakish levels of grip. There's some easily contained understeer (where the front wheels push wide) and barely a hint of oversteer (or rear-end slide) as you accelerate harder and harder out of corners, seeking but failing to find the ultimate limitation of the chassis-tyre combination.

It takes some time to adjust to the springy clutch with its quick take-up point, and the brakes that felt a little underdone (Elfin says they're still being bedded in), while long-limbed drivers might find their gear-changing elbow impeded by the centre console.

But the F1-style seating position is otherwise comfortable and ingress/egress - often a matter of contortionism in this doorless style of car - is relatively easily achieved without the need to leave footprints on the seats.

There's an attractive and well-equipped dashboard complete with car-like indicator and windscreen stalks, unlike the $40,000-dearer Caterham which utilises far more rudimentary dials, switchgear and toggles. But the T5's optional yellow gauges won't be for everyone, and there's an
uncomfortable amount of heat soaking into cabin around knee level for both driver and passenger.

The Elfin T5 won't be anyone's daily driver - the clutch will be too hard to live with in traffic and 10 minutes needs to be allowed to fit the optional cloth roof and doors, should you want to leave it securely parked anywhere or the heavens open. And don't even think about popping down to the supermarket to pick up the bread and milk - passenger footwell aside, there's nowhere to put it. This is the car that practicality bypassed.

None of that matters, though, when - at our hosts' invitation - you attempt to perform a race-style starting line launch, F1-style. There's far too much wheelspin and the fast-revving engine spends more time banging off the first-gear limiter than it took to reach it. Despite this, the T5 still
hooks up with elan and sends us hurtling off the line without even a hint of turbo lag.

You can keep your Formula 1, your Porsche 911 and your go-kart - I know what I'll be asking Santa for this Christmas.

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleId=59511



Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote
Elfin looks to the UK with its new T5

Steve Colquhoun, drive.com.au, December 8, 2008
The Australian Elfin brand has big ambitions with its new T5 sports car, which could be headed to the UK .

Sports car manufacturer Elfin has unveiled an ambitious plan to establish a lucrative export market for its newest model, the Type 5 Clubman, in Britain.

In a plan akin to selling ice to the Eskimos, or cars to Detroit - which its close ally GM Holden is already doing - the Melbourne-based niche manufacturer wants to sell the distinctive open-wheeler back into the country from which the road-track special originated, where the variant still
attracts a passionate following.

Elfin this week rolled out the T5 to the media, explaining it was designed as a 21st century evolution of the open-wheel Clubman-style sports cars produced by Lotus, and by Elfin themselves, from the late 1950s onwards.

The T5 is a departure from the two V8-powered Elfin models the company has sold since 2004. It features a cutting-edge design while returning to Elfin founder Garrie Cooper's ideal of bolting a small but potent powerplant into a lightweight, agile chassis, suited for enthusiastic driving on
both track and road.

Elfin general manager John Clark said he envisaged up to 65 of the 100 T5s Elfin planned to build next year could make their way to British owners. Elfin has secured an ultra low volume compliance certificate, which allows it to register 25 T5 Clubmans per year in Australia and sell up to 500 to overseas markets. Another 10 Clubmans are expected to remain in Australia as non-road registered track cars.

"Export is the huge potential for this car, we're looking at 65 per cent of the cars per year will go to the UK, and 35 per cent will stay in Australia," Mr Clark said.

Elfin, owned by Scotsman Tom Walkinshaw, will look to leverage off the English base of sister company Walkinshaw Performance, which has a strong presence in the performance tuning and aftermarket sector. A third Walkinshaw company, Holden Special Vehicles, exports one of its
vehicles to the UK where it is sold as a Vauxhall VXR8.

"We've already got some interest from Germany and US as well. In the initial phase we're concentrating on the UK because this car is right down their alley," Mr Clark said. "It's definitely got the potential to get into that market and then we'll work out where it goes from there."

Elfin also chose the media launch to roll out its pricing strategy, with the entry-level T5 at $64,950 undercutting its main rival in Australia, the Clubman-based Caterham Seven SVR 200, by more than $40,000.

The T5 Clubman is fitted with a 2.0-litre turbo engine with direct injection and variable cam timing. It produces 194kW at 5300rpm and a hefty 351Nm from 2500-5300rpm, which flings the lightweight 760kg body from standstill to 100km/h in a Porsche 911 Turbo-matching 3.9 seconds.

The engine is the same one fitted to GM models including the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky, and reinforcing Elfin's strong Holden links are several components pilfered from the VE Commodore parts bin including the steering rack and column, differential and brakes. Mr Clark
explained this ensured good accessibility for parts, as well as Commodore-like levels of reliability and durability.

While the base model gets fabric seats, 16-inch wheels and black gauges in an abridged dashboard, the $72,950 alternative gets leather trim, 17-inch wheels, a performance limited-slip differential, a full dashboard including yellow gauges, projector headlamps and black body highlights.
However, Elfin said any combination of options was possible and it would work with the customer to include - or strip out - whatever the customer wanted.

Since photos of the car were released last month, Elfin has taken deposits on three cars, with a further seven customers in advanced negotiations and 250 expressions of interest lodged at the recent Sydney Motor Show.

"In Australia it's got quite a good response," Mr Clark said. "We had owners of old PRBs and Westfields talking to us, even some motorbike owners, and a lot of women have showed interest in it."

Elfin will next year further investigate a plan to produce "component cars" - providing the car to customers in kit form which they can assemble themselves to save money.

"We are looking in the future at a style of component car that people could build themselves if they wanted to,'' he said. ``We're also looking at a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated version of this engine that would better suit a build-at-home scenario, driven by the complexity that comes with fitting turbos and intercoolers.''

Mr Clark said Elfin would supply full technical support and guide customers through the process of gaining ADR approvals should they wish to road-register their vehicle.

http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/MiniSite/MiniSiteArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=59509&vf=28&MiniSiteID=132



Offline dkabab

this thing does look pretty awesome. cant wait to see how it performs



Offline mondi

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Can you get it as a kit, to put it together yourself???????     :D



Offline cel

Quote
Elfin will next year further investigate a plan to produce "component cars" - providing the car to customers in kit form which they can assemble themselves to save money.

:)



Offline flamestone

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Quote
After two years of development, Elfin's latest incarnation, the T5, is put to the test by the guys at Top Gear, and The Stig.

Don't miss the action on SBS Monday the 8th of June at 7.30pm

http://www.elfin.com.au/elfin/2008/news/news.asp?ID=349



Offline AshSimmonds

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Quote from: Adam Kaplan
Hi guys

I'm really excited with our new arrival, the all new Type 5 Elfin Clubman.  See www.elfin.com.au if it doesn't mean much to you!

With a 194kW 4 cylinder turbo engine and not much weight to carry around it is certainly an exciting little package.

It's also fun and easy to drive and sticks like ^%$# to a blanket….and doesn't cost much!

I'll be taking the Type 5 out to the Burrows Day at Eastern Creek this Thursday, so any of you that are in Sydney and need some stress relief at the track, contact Luke O'Neill on 0418 882 264 and book in whilst there are still spots available.  Alternatively email Luke on luke@eventsoneill.com

If you can't get out to the track, feel free to drop me a line and check when the car will be on display at our Hunter Holden showroom in Ryde.

May all your motoring be this much fun!

...



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