This car is so new, it doesn’t even have a name yet. Only 99 will ever be made, and they will be capable of speeds that only a few other roadgoing supercars will be able to match. It is also an intriguing combination of European design flair and all-out American muscle. It is being built by a Spanish firm called GTA Motor, so that is what we will be calling it until it gets its proper name later this month when it is officially unveiled in Valencia. The manufacturer’s aim is to produce another hypercar in the same league as the Pagani Zonda and Koenigsegg CCX; the fact that such cars can be made in only small numbers serves to make them all the more desirable.
Of course, this is a familiar tale. An individual reckons he can do the supercar dream better than the established players. Sometimes, as Ferruccio Lamborghini (former disgruntled Ferrari customer and founder of Lamborghini) demonstrated, it can work spectacularly well. More often than not, however, ambitious plans to produce the next McLaren F1 end in farce or heartbreak. Usually both.
GTA Motor may be different. The company has been involved in motor sports for 15 years, with a fully equipped factory and engineering arm that prepares single-seat and GT competition cars. So it knows about engines, and Domingo Ochoa, the technical director, has 30 years of automotive-industry experience behind him.
“The inspiration for the GTA concept came from a desire to use all that experience to create something special,” Ochoa says. “We have a highly qualified engine department and we thought, yes, we can build a car using all the latest technology. And we’re also inspired by hand-crafted cars like the Pagani Zonda and Koenigsegg CCX.”
The result is a car, about the size of a Lamborghini Murciélago, that features a deeply scalloped body made of appropriately exotic materials. The honeycomb monocoque, for example, is constructed of a combination of carbon fibre, Kevlar and titanium. The roof is made with a large, panoramic glass panel that should make the interior airy and light — a change from most supercars’ intimidating driving environments. The company has wind-tunnel-tested a scale model of the GTA and claims that underbody venturi tunnels and an electronic rear spoiler reduce aerodynamic drag and make the car extremely stable at very high speed. And while the company is focused on motor sports, the GTA will feature grand-touring luxury inside. So expect everything from sat nav and premium sound systems to electric power for everything that moves.
While this car looks like a typical European mid-engined supercar, its powerplant hails from the land that claims “there ain’t no replacement for displacement”. Yes, the GTA is powered by a V10 borrowed from America’s own supercar, the Dodge Viper SRT-10. That’s one of the reasons the GTA’s body is so long — the engine is mounted longitudinally behind the driver.
GTA Motor set to work on the 8.3-litre unit and increased the power to a huge 780bhp, while torque rises to 679 lb ft. The supercharged V10 will, says the company, power the GTA to 60mph in less than 3sec and on to a top speed of 211mph. That makes it faster in a sprint than the Pagani or Koenigsegg, albeit with a lower top speed. But who needs to go faster than 211mph?
Power is transmitted through a seven-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. And if the sound of a Viper V10 is anything to go by, the GTA’s supercharged version will make a noise that’ll make you feel faint and sweaty.
The company’s long experience in making race cars go around corners properly has also resulted in a predictably sophisticated suspension. The layout uses double wishbones with dampers that can be electronically adjusted to vary the stiffness of the ride and even the car’s ride height.
Prices won’t be announced until the April 29 launch, but the company hints that €600,000 (£541,000) won’t be significantly wide of the mark.
To put that in some sort of context, the Pagani Zonda F (which is sold out) went for £892,139, and the Koenigsegg CCX costs £757,125.
Finding customers for the 99 cars may be the biggest challenge, something GTA Motor acknowledges by allowing itself up to four years to get through the production run — hardly an ambitious sales schedule. Even so, the company claims already to have 15 orders in hand. One of those is from a UK customer, and the company says it can easily produce right-hand-drive versions of the car if more demand follows. There is even the possibility of a convertible (in addition to the original 99 cars).
So, can these ambitious Spaniards do it? Well, exclusivity matters much more than you’d think at this end of the market. Once the price of a car becomes irrelevant, the fact that the oligarch at the end of your road doesn’t have one becomes much more of a draw. That reasoning has certainly worked for Pagani and Koenigsegg, and the GTA Motor promises just as much raw performance and dynamic prowess. Now all it needs is a name…
Hot wheels specs
Power 780bhp @ 7200rpm
Torque 679 lb ft @ 2500rpm
Transmission Seven-speed sequential manual
Fuel Not available
Acceleration 0-62mph: less than 3sec
Top Speed 211mph
Road Tax Band G (£400 a year)
Verdict American power meets European flair
On Sale This month