Howto keep­up­with Jones

The F1 ace has a new ex­pen­sive toy for the big boys

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

FOR­MER Aussie F1 cham­pion Alan Jones is back on the grid steer­ing a new car. Jones says his sleek Fer­rari-es­que sportscar will start pro­duc­tion ‘‘af­ter Christ­mas’’ and cost about $250,000.

He trucked the AJ-F1 Fu­sion pro­to­type to Perth for the inaugural Fes­ti­val of Speed to show it off to Mark Web­ber and 20,000 vis­i­tors.

It’s a ‘‘ Lambo-rarri’’ with a bit of Koenigsegg and stands just above 1m.

But Jones says the pro­duc­tion car will have some changes.

‘‘It will have dif­fer­ent head­lights and a higher roof,’’ he says, run­ning his hand across the red car’s roofline. The pro­to­type has four head­lights ar­ranged in pairs.

‘‘There will be a trans­par­ent cover for the en­gine. Oh, and the en­gine will change.’’

The crowd-grab­ber at Wan­neroo Race­way has a Lexus V8 which Jones says ‘‘is just to move it’’.

The real car will get a sub­stan­tial re­place­ment with Jones look­ing at the Chev LS9 su­per­charged en­gine for 480kW (644hp) and 820Nm.

The mid-mount en­gine drives a seven-speed, three-mode dual-clutch trans­mis­sion. ‘‘It will do 0-100km/h in three sec­onds,’’ he says.

The Fu­sion will be of­fered with two other ver­sions of the 6.2-litre V8 — one rated at 320kW/575Nm and the other at 358kW/644Nm. Both will be mated to six-speed man­ual gear­boxes.

The shell is made of car­bon Kevlar coated with a resin gel re­sis­tant to high tem­per­a­tures.

The pro­to­type is 4170mm long, 2150mm wide and 1018mm high. It weighs 1220kg.

‘‘There’s been a lot of work put into this,’’ he says. ‘‘My in­put is mainly sus­pen­sion and han­dling.’’

Jones says it meets some ADRs but his planned limited pro­duc­tion means it slides un­der the more strin­gent reg­u­la­tions of high-vol­ume ve­hi­cles.

‘‘It al­lows us to make 25 a year for sale in Aus­tralia and 75 for ex­port,’’ he says. ‘‘The car has been de­signed to sat­isfy the cri­te­ria of price, fin­ish, style and per­for­mance.’’

He says he has keen in­ter­est and will start pro­duc­tion on the Gold Coast un­der his Alan Jones Sig­na­ture Ve­hi­cles la­bel.

Crowd-pleaser: the new car from Alan Jones, the last Aus­tralian to win the For­mula One World Cham­pi­onships (in 1980) and only one of two Aus­tralians to ever win the cham­pi­onship (the other was Jack Brab­ham).

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