Ultra high-performance supercars are usually the domain of European boutique manufacturers, but the new Devon Motorworks is looking to change that fact. Their new 2010 Devon GTX has a giant engine, slick styling, a racing pedigree, low yearly production numbers, and a big price tag; all the hallmarks of a supercar. The materials and construction processes also represent the cutting edge of automotive technology. Needless to say, this is a car to get excited about.
Since most supercars are measured first and foremost by their engines and power outputs, that’s where we’ll start. The Devon GTX has an 8.4-liter V10 under the hood that pumps out a mammoth 650 horsepower. The engine is mated to a short-throw, six-speed manual transmission that practically shifts itself as you slide around a track. The GTX has yet to hit the streets, so official performance numbers are scarce at the moment (in fact, the GTX just premiered last weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours), but the car has done some work at the race track. The GTX holds the unofficial lap record at Willow Springs in California, which it set early this summer, and in July, the car nabbed the record at Laguna Seca. Not bad for a car that still hadn’t been officially unveiled to the public.
It’s not just the engine that helped launch the GTX into those record-holder positions. The suspension is possibly even more impressive than 650 horses. The independent front and rear suspensions are composed mainly of cast-aluminum components, which lend strength without adding weight. Add in a limited slip rear differential, big brakes, and a downforce-generating aero kit, and you’ve got a car that literally hugs the road around corners.
The frame itself is also a huge help to the body rigidity required for excellent handling. Devon’s engineers start with a steel frame. That frame is then overlayed with a single-piece carbon-fiber superstructure. Carbon fiber is a very light, yet very rigid material. By overlaying the steel frame with this superstructure, the GTX essentially has a chassis that has greatly increased support and solidity, without the extra weight that would be required had that rigidity level been reached purely with steel. The manufacturing process of this carbon-fiber superstrucutre requires a mold that is about as big as the car, and has all frame-mounting and body panel attachment points measured to within a tolerance of a few millimeters.
The exterior of the Devon GTX takes its cues from American muscle cars, rather than the mid-engined supercars from Europe. Part of this is by necessity. That big V10 just wouldn’t fit in a mid-engine configuration. Part of it, however, is an attempt to achieve what the company’s press release calls “a new expression of modern industrial design.” This is an apt description, as the GTX’s body is essentially a function-driven piece of engineering. For example, there’s no front grille, aside from some small inlets. Why? The car doesn’t need one. The venting on the hood and the inlets above the front splitter are sufficient to ventilate the engine. Form follows function. The design may not be for everyone, but for those who have a soft spot in their heart for precise engineering, it’s a piece of art.
Devon Motorworks, which is based in California, will start delivering the first round of GTX’s in the first quarter of 2010. Each car will have a price tag of $500,000 (and an additional $25,000 if you want the souped-up Racing Package) and there will only be 36 of the cars made very year. With a price tag that high, and production numbers that low, you probably won’t be seeing the GTX on the roads all that often. However, considering the engineering feat the car represents, don’t be surprised to see the GTX being a hit at the race track, and at car shows, for years to come.