Change occurs at Elfin
A new model is due next month, writes NEIL McDONALD
THE countdown has started for the new Elfin sportscars. Holden Special Vehicles and Elfin owner Tom Walkinshaw has confirmed that two new Elfin sportscars are on their way. The first will be unveiled next month and a coupe will follow several months later.
Apart from the racetrack-bred model, the larger coupe will have improved interior room and a proper boot.
They will join the existing MS8 Clubman and Speedster, which have sold strongly in Australia, Britain and the Middle East.
Elfin will chase local sales, but a big export push is planned. The cars have been designed with European safety requirements in mind.
‘‘That will be a big market for it,’’ Walkinshaw says of the new Elfin.
Neither Walkinshaw nor Elfin executives are talking engines, but it is believed to be the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine already used in the Astra VXR. It develops 177kW and promises lightning performance like the lightweight $84,990 MS8 Clubman V8. However, the new car should be about $20,000 cheaper than the MS8.
Walkinshaw says the MS8 Clubman V8 and Streamliner will still be available, but the company is focusing on the smaller-engined cars for the European market.
‘‘The new car does not have a V8 in it,’’ he says. Elfin has sold 50 MS8 Clubmans and Streamliners.
‘‘The focus from the company has been from the beginning to design and develop the new car,’’ Walkinshaw says. ‘‘We thought what we bought had a limited life and restricted demand.’’
However, he acknowledges there will still be core buyers who want the brawn of the V8 for track days.
‘‘There would always be some people who wanted it and do track work, and that’s proven to be the case. But to get volume we would have to design and make a new car, which is what we’ve done.’’
Despite the focus on new cars, Walkinshaw says existing models would not be forgotten.