Zenos, a UK constructor, announced it will be selling its E10 on our shores, with deliveries starting in 2015. Pricing starts at $39,500 the cost of engine sourcing and installation, which we'll get to in a moment. The Zenos name is new, but the men behind it, Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, have strong track records at both Lotus and Caterham. Now, they want to bring lightweight motoring to the masses.
Thanks to some innovative materials and construction techniques, the Zenos E10 weighs just 1430 lbs. It's built around an extruded aluminum backbone and utilizes a tub constructed from recycled carbon composite with a thermoplastic core—materials that make fabrication much cheaper than it would otherwise be with carbon fiber. The front suspension connects directly to the aluminum backbone, and the mid-mounted engine compartment is a removable subframe, making assembly and repairs easier. Passengers sit in a fully-encased steel safety cell with twin roll hoops and integrated side-impact bars.
The E10 is designed around a 2.0-liter Ford GDI engine (found in the Focus, and others) producing 200 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. Performance figures are theoretical at this point, but Zenos is predicting a 0-60 time of around 4.5 seconds. It's less powerful than the Factory Five 818 we drove last year, but the E10's construction is a bit more advanced.
As implied earlier, the cost of the E10 doesn't include the engine. Like Caterhams sold in the US, it will be officially imported as a kit car. We spoke with Randy Chase from about the process of getting one on the road in the US. Zenos USA will sell you a fully wired roller with a transmission through its dealers in San Diego and Chattanooga. It's up to the customer to source and install the engine, but Chase reckons the process will cost well under $5000. Price wise, it will fall somewhere between an Ariel Atom and the Factory Five 818.
Zenos E10 buyers also have the option of putting whatever they want in the engine compartment. We're not sure an LS1 would fit, but Chase did inform us that is developing a lineup of Yamaha-based V6s and V8s that should fit nicely.