from Ronnie Kruger of Superformance
First there were rumors, then awareness and expectations. A picture of the alpha prototype is featured on the Superformance website, and has been for more than two years. Where is the Coupe, then?
The Superformance Coupe is alive and well, the beta prototype has passed final evaluation tests and the production model joined the MK III and S1 on the assembly line in South Africa this month. The first completed units will roll off line in the second half of May.
Why did this supercar from Superformance take so long to see the light of day?
“Because there is just no compromise with this automotive Wunderkind”, says Jimmy Price, creator of the most exciting product from the Superformance stable yet to hit the US market.
Peter Brock – arguably one of the most successful sports car designers of the 60’s, credited with the original design that became the Corvette and the man who designed the Daytona Coupe that won the World Championship of Sports Cars for the US, collaborated in the design of the Superformance Coupe, a grand touring car in the tradition of the great European GT’s of the sixties.
Jim Price did the original chassis layout, which was then optimized by the late Bob Negstad and Dan Bamford of Roush Technologies. Wes Schultz of ACT did the finite element analysis, and together they developed a superb chassis with a torsional stiffness in the order of 6,000 pounds per degree!.
The prototype was tested and improved, retested and further improved. With some elements it was back to the drawing board – no compromise, said Jim Price. “It must be right. Not just acceptable. Right!”.
Now the wait is over. The sleek, 200 mph plus grand touring coupe will soon swim the Atlantic to join the Superformance family in America.. The Superformance MK III is already the Vintage Sports Car replica of choice for Americans who do not want the hassle of building up a kit from used or junked parts. With the arrival of the Coupe, the US kit car market will never be the same again.
Hand crafted in vinyl-ester composite material, the wind-cheating body sits on a mild steel tubular space frame chassis. The interior of the spacious cockpit is trimmed in luxurious black leather and alcantara – truly a space age material. A custom designed air conditioning system will keep the driver and passenger comfortable in any weather conditions, and the independent front and rear suspension with custom-valved Bilstein shocks with H&R coil overs will ensure catlike stability on road and track.
The custom alloy 18 inch wheels are reminiscent of the hand crafted alloy wheels of yesteryear (unlike the pre-production wheels on the car in the accompanying photograph). They host power-assisted PBR calipers clamping onto large 13 inch rotors up front, 12 inches in the rear.
That this is not just your everyday kit car of a retro-design is evidenced by the fact that it sports wind-up tempered glass windows in the wide-entry doors, a sizeable and practical trunk, Stewart Warner electronic instrumentation, remote door locks, an immobilizer and retractable three-point safety belts.
The seats alone were a year in development to ensure that a variety of body sizes and shapes would be comfortably ensconced on long journeys.
There is much more, but that can wait until the realistically-priced Superformance Coupe makes it’s debut in the US towards mid-year. It was long in coming, but then, everything comes to him who waits!.
Photos by Larry Miller
Sleek and strikingly beautiful lines provide significant aerodynamic advantages
A true road and track supercar, the Superformance Coupe is designed to be comfortable on the road and quick on the track... really quick!
The potent Windsor stroker provides the stunning performance you expect... and more!
The Superformance Coupe has undergone many thousands of miles of real world testing both on the road...
... and on the track. Nigel Hulme, Rod Leach, and Bob Olthoff (left to right) confer during track testing in South Africa
The beta prototype on the factory floor as production ramps up.