Campaigning for Australia's first supercar

The UK has Aston Martin, Italy has Ferrari and Lamborghini, France boasts Bugatti and even the US can pick between the Chevrolet Corvette, the Hennessey Venom and the Saleen S7.
| Updated on: 27 Aug 2014, 01:38 PM

The UK has Aston Martin, Italy has Ferrari and Lamborghini, France boasts Bugatti and even the US can pick between the Chevrolet Corvette, the Hennessey Venom and the Saleen S7. But until now, Australia hasn't had a supercar to call its own.

However, if JOSS Developments succeeds in what is a very bold Kickstarter campaign, the 500bhp 200mph+ JP1 could soon be filling that void.

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The company, based in Victoria and staffed by a host of automotive experts, has been pursuing this dream for 16 years and in 2004 even developed a proof of concept prototype, which was met with universal approval in its homeland but unfortunately, due to the comparatively small demand for supercars in Australia, that approval didn't translate into sales.

Racing into the present day, prototype has been put through its paces and tested thoroughly, the design and engineering tweaked accordingly -- to the extent that the company has developed an entirely new fuel-efficient V8 in house to power it -- and JOSS simply needs an investment of AUD$480,000 (about US$447,500) that will take the concept over the finishing line, which is an initial run of five track-only vehicles that will give McLarens and Porsches a run for their money.

But more importantly, the sales of which -- priced at approximately AUD$600,000 (about US$560,000) each -- will fund a road-going version that will be offered for sale in supercar-obsessed regions of Europe and the Middle East as well as of course being offered for sale in Australia.

'We believe we have developed a genuine, high-end supercar which will hold its own, and even outperform, million dollar plus models from McLaren, Pagani, Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg...the industry feedback to our design concept and clay model has been phenomenal,' said JOSS founder Matthew Williams who, before creating the company, worked in Formula One and for Aston Martin and BMW.

And while turning to Kickstarter is no sure way to guarantee an adventurous project becomes a success, the JP1 is an astounding car on paper and shouldn't be written off as the automotive equivalent of someone tinkering around in a shed with scraps of material and a hammer.

The car's chassis will be built from lightweight alloy and clad with carbon composite which will give it a weight of just 900kg. That means that it has the potential to go from 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 340km/h thanks to a power-to-weight ratio of 625hp per ton.

And while the all aluminum five-liter V8 was built in house, JOSS has managed to attract investment and support from a host of major automotive companies including Bosch for the provision of everything from transaxle and gearbox to brakes and fuel injectors.

The Kickstarter campaign will come to a close on October 1. If it leads to the JP1 becoming a reality, expect to see one hitting the track, if not the road, within the next two years.

First Published Date: 27 Aug 2014, 12:04 PM IST

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