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A new angle on sports cars


The Jetstream SC250

New British sports car maker, Jetstream, is marketing a lightweight roadster that it says can hit 100kph in around four seconds, runs to a top speed of 265kph and can cut out the standing quarter mile in 11.8 seconds.

The Jetstream SC250 is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive road-legal two seater.

It runs the 2.0 litre Ecotec Turbo Twin-Cam 16-valve engine and six-speed transmission from General Motors’ Astra VXR, producing 250bhp as standard. Peak torque of 320Nm is generated at 2400rpm.  

The engine can run on either unleaded or bio-ethanol, the latter increasing performance by around 10 percent. 

Jetstream says the car is capable of fuel economy of 38mpg on the combined cycle.  

The car weighs 700kg, achieving a power-to-weight ratio of 357bhp-per-tonne.

The SC250 bodywork was designed originally by former Ford stylist, Brian Rossi, who was responsible for designs such as the retro-look Ford Thunderbird of 2002. 

The SC250 was designed to be as aerodynamic as possible to balance grip, traction and straight-line speed. 

The lightweight, hand produced composite body is coupled to an aluminium monocoque chassis, with steel subframes front and rear. Side impact safety is helped by the honeycomb monocoque side panels that also eliminate any flexing of the structure.

Both front and rear suspension consist of unequal length wishbones with fixed coil-over shocks – the fronts mounted inboard and pushrod-activated – supplied by Netherlands-based Intrax, the company owned by Henk Thuis, who was formerly Michael Schumacher’s suspension guru at the Benetton Formula 1 team.

The SC250’s Tilton twin brake system features balance bar bias adjustment and ventilated 285mm front discs, with 278mm rear discs and standard General Motors callipers.  An optional upgrade is available to a four-pot calliper package from AP Racing.

Lightweight Team Dynamics 16-inch alloy wheels on the front and 17-inch on the rear are shod with Toyo Proxes tyres.

The engine management system is controlled by an Emerald ECU and includes two settings – Standard (general road use) and Sports (track). 

The cabin has moulded composite seats – available in two sizes – upholstered in high-grade vinyl.  The driver’s seat is horizontally adjustable.  Willans four-point harnesses are standard, with a five-point version available as an option. 

The digital and analogue dash display is programmable to add features depending on a driver’s specific requirements.

Jetstream’s technical director, John Donnelly, says the SC250’s design is totally unique. 

“The styling also serves a real technical purpose as its aerodynamic features were designed to aid road holding.  In terms of driving experience, we wanted to ensure no stone was left unturned and we feel the result will appeal to drivers who really want to feel part of the car, whether on track or on the road.”

Jetstream plans to make 50 cars over the next year, with an uprated 300bhp version planned for early 2009. The price is around $90,000. 

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