400kg Sports Car
|In March 2007 I completed the build of my Fisher Fury R1 and I've enjoyed driving it on both road and track since. It is the most addictive and involving car I've ever owned or driven. The combination of noise, handling and performance is just intoxicating and I can't imagine life without it. Now that seven years of ownership is up, I've started to think about what could possibly replace it. Whilst there are faster, more powerful cars available, there are a few things about my Fisher Fury R1 that set it apart from many road-legal cars you can buy today, regardless of cost. This site aims to capture my inspiration, research, thoughts and design for my next sports car.|
The first thing that makes the Fury special is its lack of mass. Weighing 450kg (including half a tank of fuel), the lack of mass and momentum result in a car with amazing driver involvement. This is the main characteristic of my Fisher Fury R1 that I want to keep and improve upon. This lack of mass is evident in everything the car does including accelerating, cornering, braking and changing direction. For this reason, I've set myself a target weight for my next car of 400 Kg.
The second thing that makes it special is that it is very low to the ground and has an exceptionally low centre of gravity. Because you also sit very low in the car, in a fibreglass bucket seat, you feel very connected to the car whilst cornering.
The third thing is its very small size. You don't sit in this car, you almost wear it. Everything is in close proximity and it is much easier to judge your speeds, distances and the apex of corners. You also simply feel closer to the action. The other great thing about this car is that is isn't faster than it feels. If you feel like you are going fast, it is because you are going fast! This is also a significant safety feature.
My Fisher Fury R1 was also the first bike-engined car I ever drove. I took a huge gamble on the basis of a few passenger rides and opted for a 2003 Yamaha R1 engine to power it. It was an inspired choice and one of the best decisions I made with this car. I'm the first to admit that it would be frustrating to live with on a daily basis but, in a fun sports car, it is the perfect choice. The combination of high power, extremely low weight and gorgeous engine noise is totally addictive. The R1 engine delivers ~160bhp when installed in a car, yet engine and gearbox weigh only 60kg. For very little money you also get a 11,500rpm red-line and an integral 6-speed sequential gearbox. That's why I'm planning to use a motorbike engine again.
With this next car, I'm looking to build something similar but, with many improvements. I want to create a car that is truly beautiful to look at, even more fun and involving, higher performance, with a higher quality finish and also slightly more practical. Like the Fury, it will be a full-body design (not an open-wheel car). I'm also want to make the move to a rear mid-engine layout. And with these goals in mind, I've decided to design and build a car from scratch and this website aims to document my research, thinking and eventually the whole build process.
Because this car is a 'one off' and subject to the IVA test only, I can do things that main-stream sports car manufacturers can't.
I went in at the deep end with my Fisher Fury R1 build and six years on, I'm still learning. The water has just got a little bit deeper. I'm particular interested in design tools that can help me render and capture my plans.
You can also follow my ideas and progress on Twitter: @lotuselises.