Here’s what you need to know about the VUHL 05, Mexico’s coolest sports car
It may still be a start-up, but Mexico’s VUHL did a great job of establishing themselves as serious players in the track car industry right from the start. Their sole car, the 05, debuted in 2013 and is still produced at the company’s Mexico City plant today. They’re still a pretty niche manufacturer at the moment, but they’ve received critical acclaim from a number of major outlets, so they’re definitely one to watch.
The car is available in several of the world’s largest automotive markets, with VUHL dealerships available in the US, UK and mainland Europe. They have held a number of high-profile launch events in places like London and Goodwood, with VIP guests such as Sir Sterling Moss and Mexican racing legend Esteban Gutiérrez. So what exactly makes this car such an underrated gem? Well, let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about the coolest Mexico. sports car.
8 This is not the first Mexican sports car
Although the VUHL 05 is Mexico’s most successful sports car, it should be noted that it is not the first. That honor instead goes to the Mastretta MXT, a limited-run car that was produced between 2011 and 2014. Designed by the eponymous Daniel Mastretta, the car first entered development in 2004 and was officially unveiled in 2011. at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
It came with a 247hp engine but weighed only 2050lbs thanks to a carbon fiber and aluminum chassis. Unfortunately, the MXT did not sell enough units to make the company financially viable, but it did help pave the way for the VUHL 05 to come to market.
seven VUHL was founded by two brothers
The company was founded at the turn of the 2010s by two brothers who had been involved in their father’s racing career for decades before deciding to chart their own path. Their first showcase for their new car was none other than the Goodwood Festival of Speed, one of the biggest events on the UK motoring calendar and a festival that attracts global attention every year.
At the controls of their car in the famous Goodwood hill climb, none other than Esteban Gutiérrez, one of Mexico’s most successful drivers who was racing in Formula 1 at the time. left the event “really impressed”, commenting that the car “gives you a lot of confidence”.
6 Developed in the UK…
It was designed and manufactured in Mexico, but the VUHL 05 underwent many tweaks in the UK before hitting the market. It’s a sensible decision VUHL made, as many of the best track day cars in the world come from smaller British manufacturers like Caterham and Ariel.
The UK is also one of the biggest markets for the car, with a dedicated dealership selling both new and used examples. This crossover between Mexico and the UK is also evident in the car’s much-hyped appearance in Forza Horizon 5a hit racing game set in Mexico and developed by British company Playground Games.
5 …Built for Mexican roads
Although it was built with a global market in mind, VUHL still had to make sure the 05 was up to the task of being driven on the roads of Mexico. In an interview with Coach magazineco-founder Iker Echeverria said that due to the country’s bumpy roads and uneven surface, he made sure the car had at least 110mm of ground clearance.
That’s significantly more than most other track cars, and Coach suggested that this negatively affected the amount of roll at high speeds. Still, it makes the car much more convenient to drive on the roads, not just in Mexico but anywhere speed bumps or potholes are common.
4 It’s seriously fast
According to the company’s website, the latest iteration of the car produces 360 hp from its Ford-sourced 2.0L engine, with 360 lb-ft of torque. It’s limited to a top speed of 155mph, although it’s unclear how fast the car could go without being limited.
All that power is packed into an incredibly lightweight package, as the 05 weighs just 1,530 lbs (695 kg). As you’d expect, acceleration is quick too, with a claimed 0-62mph time of just 3.7 seconds. Considering the 05 has no windshield, roof or windows, driving it at full speed must be an intense experience to say the least.
3 The 05RR is even faster
If those truly impressive numbers weren’t enough, in 2019 VUHL unveiled an even faster version of the car called the 05RR. It has a larger 2.3 L engine adapted from a Ford Mustang and develops 400 hp, a 40 hp increase over the “standard” version of the car.
It also comes with lighter carbon composite wheels and tackier Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tires to ensure the car is still as grippy, even with its power upgrade. Performance springs, shocks, steering rack and clutch complete the comprehensive list of upgrades available with the 05RR.
2 It’s a reasonable price
While building a great car should be the primary goal of any manufacturer, being able to sell the car for a price that people will actually want to pay is also very important. This is where VUHL is pretty much right, as the 05s are right in the middle of the track car price spectrum.
It costs around $85,500 for a standard VUHL, making it more expensive than an Ariel Atom or Caterham, but about on par with a top-end Lotus Exige. It’s also considerably cheaper than a Radical Rapture, which starts at around £115,000 in the UK ($156,000). The hardcore 05RR variant costs $147,500 in the US, but it offers about the same performance as a Rapture, so it’s priced reasonably given its competition.
1 There is a lot of fierce competition
Speaking of competition, the VUHL 05 has plenty of it. We’ve already mentioned some of its main rivals like Caterham and Radical, but there are plenty of smaller manufacturers that also target the same demographic. BAC is a good example of this, as their F1-inspired Mono is more expensive but also more extreme, and they’re based in the UK, one of VUHL’s biggest markets.
Other UK startups include Elemental and Zenos, both of which are able to cut 05s on prices. Not to mention the kings of the track, Lotus, who are currently developing a whole new range, including the excellent new Emira. It’s fair to say that the VUHL has some stiff competition, but it’s an exciting enough car to stand out from the crowd and hopefully its sales continue to reflect that.
As these incredible sports cars age, the nostalgia for them will only grow and their asking prices will likely increase accordingly.
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