A revolution in carbon fibre: Zenos E10
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A revolution in carbon fibre: Zenos E10

Roadshow
We're here to look at a sports car from a little British manufacturer that you may not have heard of. This is Zenof and this is a carbon fiber revolution. [MUSIC] The build starts here with the aluminum extrusion which comes into this machine and on the dies. He's prepped at this stage, he's ready for bonding to the rear subframe. The tub is made from five components. The front bulkhead, rear bulkhead, floor, and then two side panels. And the reason for making the tub fiberglass components is, again, to keep that ownership cost to a minimum. So if you do have damage to the side panels, for example, there's only one part of the tub to replace. What makes [UNKNOWN] revolutionary is they use a recycled carbon fiber. This is material with 70% of the strength for around %10 of the cost, and it gives this supercar credentials, but at a hot hatch price. Layers of carbon create a sandwich around a plastic thermostat core that operate. Really like thousands of I-beams, like you might see in a construction project. And the overall stiffness of the product, the mechanical efficiency is very, very high. [MUSIC] As well as the Ford components that underpin the low cost of ownership in the car, one of the key things there is there are 18 separate body panels. That create the whole envelope of the car. Which means that if someone takes the car to a track and they end up in the tire wall, it's fewer number panels for them to repair which keeps the cost as low as possible. For instance, we just had one of our customers have a slight accident into the tire wall at Donnington and replaced his front quarter for him, suspension arm, which are all designed to break sacrificially in the right place. And the full repair bill was 1,110 quid for them. So we're talking about very, very low cost of ownership as well as a low entry price for the car in the first instance. [SOUND] [NOISE] [MUSIC] [NOISE] The basic E10 has a two liter, 200 horsepower Four engine and does naught to 60 in about five seconds. The E10S is turbocharged and does naught to 60 in under four. The E10R has a turbocharged 2.3 liter engine and will hit 60 in three seconds. Three, that's about as quick as a McClaren F1. So [INAUDIBLE] before it is 25,000 pounds. Which is [INAUDIBLE] Or about the same [INAUDIBLE] and it's million pound [INAUDIBLE] Point of reference here. [INAUDIBLE] When John Watson crashed his MP4/1 at Monza in 1981, the crowd thought he was dead. But because of his carbon fiber top, he walked away unscathed. Because carbon fiber is light and strong like nothing else. Because that technology then trickles down to the first carbon fiber monocoque production car, Which was in the Clarin F1. This was the world's fastest car for well over a decade, until the Bugatti Veyron arrived. Fabulously light, and even though it has a six liter, six cylinder horsepower V12, it barely weighted more than a ton. But we're now reaching sort of like the third era of carbon fiber revolution It has now trickled down to affordable, properly affordable sports cars like the E10. I mean it is a lovely track toy and I think Marc was saying that a lot of people that own far more exotic stuff, that they are a bit scared of Just take it on track. They're buying these as pure track toys because, clearly, that's what they got in mind with sacrificial suspension parts and the replaceable body panels. I mean, I can think of one other locally sourced car, so I say that has very expensive clamp panels. And, I know from It's an experience that crashing among track can be rather expensive with their big, fragile clam shell. The way this car handles reminds me o a classic favorite of ours, one that perhaps inspired the team at Zenos, the Lotus Elan. The Elan had a steel backbone chassis and a top made from fiberglass, whereas the E10 had an aluminium backbone chassis and a turbo carbon fiber. It might be inspired by the classics, but the E10 is a big leap forward. It's a very contemporary sports car. [MUSIC] [SOUND] It has a very contemporary style, and that was actually one of the things that was on the design brief. So the styling should be contemporary and forward looking but it should handle as least as well as a [UNKNOWN] but it should be as repairable and affordable as a [UNKNOWN] and as easy to drive as an LX5. Well I've got to kind of jump in there a little bit because it fits all those other boxes but this is nowhere near Practical as an MX5. Okay, we've got a 12 volt socket there and a hand brake. And that's about it. No doors, no roof, no windows. And actually I don't care, because I want a proper British sports car. And this is a very British sports car. It is. There's 440 components that go into making E 10, and 99% of them are UK sourced They're based in Norfolk. They've got 22 local employees, so you don't get much more British than that, really. No, that's true. And also, it's worth pointing out that whilst the name Zenos doesn't have much of a history, in fact, I don't think many of our viewers will even heard of Zenos before. The two guys behind it, Ansar and Mark, they're both ex [UNKNOWN] and ex-Lotus, so these are top engineers. Who really know their stuff. And I think they've delivered. [SOUND] People at first glance might mistake this for a kind of up market [UNKNOWN] but no, these are all factory built, beautifully finished, and [UNKNOWN] will actually give you a warranty that covers the car for use on track. [SOUND] [MUSIC] I was concerned that this car wouldn't be as good as the total sum of its parts. I worried that perhaps they got the right bit but in the wrong quantities or in the wrong order somehow. All the carbon fiber and aluminum tech, I wasn't sure whether that would translate to a great road car or not. But it really does. I love it. It's a great package and clearly a lot of people agree with you, because the auto books are absolutely ramped. They're filling very fast for next year. Early 2017, there's a roadster plan, and there's also a coupe version on the drawing board. And when that comes along, I think it really will upset the sports car establishment. It's a carbon fiber revolution. [SOUND]

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