AUSTRALIA'S FIRST mid-engine sports car, the Joss Supercar, is a little over two months away from making its debut, with potential buyers and investors alike lining up at Joss's door.
Ten solid orders have been locked in thus far, and Joss has been reorganised into an unlisted private company to fully exploit growing interest from investors.
The Joss Supercar was first revealed to the market five years ago, but now its creator Matt Thomas should soon see his project come to fruition and give Australia its first real competitor against the likes of the Ferrari Enzo and Lamborghini Murcielago.
"This is now not just about producing an Australian first and world-class supercar, but ensuring the business is resourced adequately to meet pent-up production demand," Mr Thomas said.
"We have been refining the mechanics of the business model and the car and are now satisfied that we have the right product and systems in place to move forward."
A V8 of unannounced origin will generate over 373kW and propel the Joss to 100km/h in a lightning-fast 2.98 seconds. Top speed is claimed to be over 340km/h.
Despite its long gestation period, the Joss Supercar is swiftly reaching legend status in Australia, with the car even featuring as a playable car in the XBOX games Project Gotham Racing 3 and 4.
â€œIâ€™m passionate about what Iâ€™ve created and have gathered a first-class team with the necessary experience to help get the car into full production,â€ Mr Thomas says.
â€œWe have been refining the mechanics of the business model and the car and are now satisfied that we have the right product and systems in place to move forward."
Thomas recently reorganised Joss into an unlisted private company to take advantage of growing interest from potential buyers of the car, and investors in the business.
â€œThe supercar industry worldwide is a significant business, with some buyers willing to part with well over $1 million to secure the latest and fastest performance vehicles,â€ Mr Thomas says.
Thomas has a long history in the automotive industry, having worked in aerodynamics for the Stewart Grand Prix F1 team before it was acquired by Jaguar, as well as working in design and clay modeling for Aston Martin, Bentley and BMW, and locally, Ford and HSV.
Joss expects to build 25 of the supercars at its Victorian facility in its first year, and anticipates all of these will be sold in very short order. The asking price is estimated to be around $600,000, but considering the rarity - and sheer speed - of the Joss Supercar, it should make an enticing buy for super-wealthy car buffs.
Joss also plans on taking its Supercar racing, with the eventual goal being a place on the grid at Le Mans.
â€œOur belief is that any strong brand must be heavily involved in competition and this is why we are aiming our sites on GT racing as a spring board to races such as Le Mans,â€ Mr Thomas says.
â€œCurrently we are in talks with an established racing team with a proven track record to help realise this goal.
â€œAll these factors are strategically designed to take on the big guns of the industry and to establish Australia as a serious supercar design and manufacturing hub.â€