Tony O'Kane | Jun 30, 2008

Tom Walkinshaw, owner of Melbourne-based boutique sports car company Elfin, has revealed that an all-new model will be released by the low-volume manufacturer in August.

The car, which has been in development for over two years, will be the long awaited successor to the discontinued Elfin Type-3 clubman, which itself was a distant relative of the much-loved Lotus 7. Consequently the new car will still feature those characteristic motorcycle-style mudguards over the front wheels, however the cabin will be larger and styling of the new car's fibreglass body is described as being "21st Century".

Unlike the old clubman, the all-new Elfin has also been designed to accommodate taller or, ahem, wider drivers, and there's also a stowable folding roof to help make those drives to and from the racetrack all the more tolerable. There's also a raft of mod-cons incorporated into the design that don't normally make it into a track-oriented vehicle such as this: there's power steering, ABS and traction control, all of which should make cutting fast laps at your local circuit a much more relaxing affair.

In a significant departure from its current V8-powered MS8 Clubman and MS8 Streamliner cars, Elfin has elected to bolt the 2-litre turbocharged inline-four and 6-speed manual gearbox from a Pontiac Solstice to the new car's spaceframe chassis. Producing 194kW after some secret Elfin modifications, the Solstice motor pales in comparison to the 245kW offered by the MS8's 5.7-litre LS1 V8, however with just 700kg to push around the new car should definitely be no slouch.

Of course, with a power-to-weight ratio of 4.4kg per kW Elfin's newest won't be taking the performance crown from the 3.7kg per kW MS8 models just yet. Then again, with a projected RRP of AUD $60,000 the new clubman won't hurt your wallet like the $85,000+ MS8's do either.

[Drive.com.au]

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