IT REALLY isn’t difficult to understand why a small, independent specialist sports car maker would want to start with a Lotus Exige as the building block for something even more special. The Exige is lightweight, mid-engined and blessed with terrific handling right out of the box. So nothing really needs fixing and its the perfect palette for the dreams of people like Martin Jung.
Jung is the founder of Jubu Performance, which has a factory in Austria. When he talked to Carbuzz.com, Jung said: “We took the great chassis from the Exige and built an entirely new car around it. Almost everything – from suspension to steering wheel – was completely new, designed and produced at our factory in Austria. During the development process, we always kept the old principle of Colin Chapman in mind: simplify, then add lightness.”
The result is the JP Zero – the car, as convincing a looking GT2 class racer as you’ll find, sports a full-carbon body and a 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo that revs to 7200rpm. There are three states of tune for the JP, with ZEROrace, ZEROtrack and ZEROstreet. The race version can apparently compete in the GT2 race class, while the street version will be finished in bare carbon and will be capable of generating up to 740bhp. Power in the cars can be adjusted between 410bhp and 610bhp with a switch in the cabin.
To give owners the choice between a comfortable, cruising automatic transmission and the much more motor sport inspired feel of a seven-speed sequential shift, the JPs use a specially-designed dual-clutch transmission. “This was one of our greatest achievements during the project. Our DCT is really easy to handle and can compete with any sequential gearbox on track – but if you want to relax, you can just switch from manual to automatic mode and chill,” explains Jung. The gearbox can withstand over 100 hours on track without any major maintenance or a rebuild.
Jubu will reportedly produce just 60 cars in total. Prices are said to start out at €249,000 (about £224,700) and could hit an eye-watering €650,000 (£586,500). No word on performance yet, but ‘extremely fast’ should cover it.