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Rossion Q1: The Dark Horse Supercar

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Rossion isn’t exactly a household name, even among die-hard car enthusiasts, but that may change with the Q1, a supercar that could best all of the established greats.  The Q1 is based on the Noble M400, a quirky, boutique supercar known for its great handling but questionable styling and amenities.  The Rossion Q1 adapts some of the mechanical underpinnings from the Noble, but then forges its own path.  And what a path it is.

The Q1 is definitely not your average supercar.  For example, one component of the car isn’t found on many other supercars:  a Ford-based V6.  Based on the Duratec 3.0-liter V6, which has been the powerplant of the Ford Mondeo sedan since 1996 (the Mondeo is similar, but not identical to, the Taurus), the engine isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find in a boutique supercar.  However, with careful tuning, modification, and a twin-turbo, this modest V6 is turned into a 450 horsepower, 400 lb-ft of torque monster.  And that power, with the Q1′s light 2,495 pound curb weight means that the car can go from 0-to-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and run a standing quarter mile in 11.1 seconds at 120 mph.  The lack of more than 500 ponies does restrict the Q1′s top speed compared to other big name supercars, but it still hits 185 mph, which is faster than 90% of supercar drivers probably ever go, regardless of the car.

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Those acceleration numbers put the Rossion Q1 in the same league as Koenigsegg’s CCX and ahead of most Ferrari and Lamborghini models, so that’s pretty impressive for such a small company.  Rossion Automotive is currently based in Florida after a stint in Ohio, and the Q1 is assembled in South Africa, at the same plant where the aforementioned Noble M400 is built.  But where it really shines is in the corners.

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The suspension geometry of the Noble M400 is considered on of the best ever produced in light-weight supercars.  It just works incredibly well on all fronts.  The driver gets quick feedback from the road and highly responsive steering, but the suspension is not so tight and hard that the slightest bump will knock the fillings out of your teeth.  One of the main measurements of how well a car handles is lateral-g testing.  Essentially, when you turn a car very fast, inertia wants to keep the car moving in a straight line.  This is what pulls you side to side in your seat when cornering tightly.  Those forces are measured relative to the force of gravity (g), so a car that has a 0.5 g lateral force rating means that it can withstand a force half that of gravity and still maintain a turn, and the higher the rating, the better.  The Ferrari Enzo, one of the best track cars ever produced, has a lateral-g rating of 1.02 g, but the Rossion Q1 beats it with a rating of 1.065 g.

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The styling of the Q1 isn’t anything startlingly unique for the supercar world, with the off-set dual racing stripes being the most noticeable feature.  The car does have a relatively short wheelbase of only 93-inches, which makes it look a little too short in a straight profile view, but that’s a minor concern.  The interior is nicely appointed with a few gadgets but nothing extreme.  The carbon fiber seats are well-made and provide decent comfort while still maintaining the “lighter is better” supercar credo.

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But, far and away the most amazing thing about the Rossion Q1 is the price tag.  Its performance numbers put it in the same league as Koenigseggs and Lambos, but its price tag is a mere fraction of those other supercars, starting off at about $105,000.  After adding a few options and extras packages, that price could easily hit $130,000, but that’s still about one-quarter the price of a Koenigsegg CCX and half that of a well-equipped Lamborghini Gallardo.  The fact that you can get a supercar like the Rossion Q1  while only mortgaging your house three times, instead of ten, makes it the most attainable supercar of the everyman.

Pictures of the Rossion Q1

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