Colin Chapman’s ethos of “adding lightness” is good. Great, even. But it’ll only get you so far. Sooner or later, to achieve the kind of blinding performance that the most speed-obsessed among us crave, you’re going to have to add power as well. And that’s just what Zenos Cars has done with the new E10 R.
Never heard of Zenos? It’s relatively new and just as obscure. The company was founded a year ago by two former Lotus and Caterham execs, who set about sticking it to their former employers with a lightweight track machine of their own. The E10 was their first product, built around a central spine with a carbon-composite cockpit and steel safety cell. That initial model came (and is still available) with a 2.0-liter inline-four sourced from Ford, channeling 200 horsepower through a five-speed manual transmission to the rear wheels. The subsequent E10 S took things a step beyond with an EcoBoost turbo four good for 250 hp. And this new E10 R dials things up even further to 350 hp – which is downright ludicrous in a vehicle weighing less than 1,550 pounds dry.
The result is a 0-60 time estimated at 3.0 seconds flat and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Those are break-neck speeds in a vehicle with no roof or windscreen to speak of. So to keep it all in check, Zenos has upgraded the brakes and the suspension, which is fully adjustable for track-day fanatics. The six-speed manual transmission now features a shorter throw, and the wheels are lighter for more precise turn-in.
Zenos is charging £39,995 in its home market (including 20% tax) for the E10 R, which is a considerable premium over the E10 (£24,995) and E10 S (£29,995). The price works out to $60k by direct conversion, but more relevant (given the various pricing and taxing schemes in different countries) is that it almost exactly matches that of a base Porsche Boxster – which may be a more usable car than the track-focused Zenos, but would find itself left in a cloud of smoke and dust around the track behind the lighter, more powerful, and nearly twice-as-quick E10 R you see here.
If that sounds like a bargain, Zenos is also offering a limited Drive Edition in the scheme you see here with additional standard equipment for £43,995. The E10 R will mark its debut in January at the Autosport International show. But even if you won’t be in Birmingham around that time, you can check it out in the high-res image gallery above and the press release below for a closer look.