The Mastretta MXT getting ready for Europe
The world's first Mexican sportscar is set to receive a new engine and some styling tweaks before officially going on sale beyond South America in 2015.
The two-seater sportscar which, for want of a better comparison is a Latin take on the Lotus Elise, albeit a more comfortable one -- is well-styled and full of promise.
The first car of any description that can claim to be 100% Mexican -- i.e., conceived, designed, developed and built in the country, The Mastretta MXT is an impressive first attempt but will need refinement if it hopes to compete with the aforementioned Lotus Elise as well as a host of other two-seat, rear-wheel drive roadsters from European and Japanese companies already on sale in Europe.
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Therefore the car will be getting a new 2-liter turbo engine sourced from the Ford Focus and will get some external changes that the company hopes will cut the car's weight to below 1000kg.
Speaking to Autocar, Steve Hindle, the man charged with bringing the MXT to European shores, said that the car has to be competitive when it goes on sale and the key to this will be how it performs. 'Our philosophy is that weight and chassis architecture defines performance,' said Hindle. 'The power-to-weight ratio and the raw response from the chassis are what will make this car stand out.'
The current MXT delivers 250bhp, can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and thanks to its chassis setup and mid-engine layout can handle 1.1G of lateral acceleration, making it great for high-speed cornering and tail-out drifting. The current car also weighs 1050kg.
By shedding weight and adding a more potent engine, the car could be even better. However, we'll have to wait until 2015 to find out.