Tony O'Kane | Jul 18, 2008

Fancy something a little more exotic in your garage but don't want to have to re-mortgage your house to get it? Why not head South of the Border and check out the Mastretta MXT.

The MXT is the first stand-alone sports car project of Mexican design company Mastretta and while it's already been around for half a year in Mexico, Mastretta is now planning to bring the lightweight sportster to the rest of the world. The MXT will make its European debut at the British International Motor Show in London on July 22, with certification testing expected to be completed by October and RHD production slated to begin early next year.

On paper, it sounds like the MXT certainly has the goods to go head-to-head against some of Europe's more prestigious offerings. With a 179hp supercharged 2-litre Ford Duratec inline-four and a 5-speed manual transaxle housed between its rear wheels, the MXT offers a similar layout to the Lotus Elise Supercharged. Weight is slightly higher at 900kg, while performance is also close to that of Lotus's blown Elise too, with a 241kph top speed and sub 5-second 0-100kph sprint giving the mid-engined Mexican a fighting chance in the battle for sports car sales.

Mastretta MXT

Performance aside, the MXT should have no trouble getting the attention it wants at London thanks to that gorgeous shape. Its handsome bodywork is constructed entirely out of high-quality fibreglass, while the frame beneath is made of bonded aluminium - just like an Aston Martin - so not only is the MXT pleasant to look at, but it's light enough to get away with such a relatively low-powered engine.

How much does it all cost? Well, Mastretta estimate it'll cost British punters £32,999, which translates to a price of $67,805 in Downunder Dollars. Sounds expensive for something that lacks the brand cachet of a European manufacturer, but if Mastretta's performance claims prove to be correct then the MXT represents Elise Supercharged performance for Elise S money. Not bad for a company that normally builds buses.

Mastretta MXT

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