The Joss JP1, a near-mythical supercar that has been in development here in Australia since the early 2000s, is in trouble again.
Less than six months after he confirmed a $35 million funding deal with wealthy entrepreneur Alex Hatzimihail, Joss founder Matthew Thomas has revealed today that the partnership is over.
In a brief statement released today, Mr Thomas said the decision “was difficult, but necessary”.
Details of the breakup were not revealed, and Thomas has chosen not to speak on the matter.
“Given the sensitivity of the current business status, we regret that no additional comment can be given at this moment,” he said today.
The company appears eager to push on, however.
“The Joss team will now work to secure the required funding to develop its evolved version of the Joss JP1," Thomas said.
The brainchild of Australian engineer and designer Matthew Thomas, who has previously worked in F1 and with some of the world’s biggest carmakers, the JP1’s story has evolved into a saga of epic proportions.
After an extended period of radio silence that had pundits wondering if the project had fallen over, Thomas came out in August last year with plans to ‘crowdfund’ the JP1’s final development stages.
The campaign, run through crowdfunding website Kickstarter, fell well short of its $480,000 target.
In December, the company revealed it had reached an agreement with the The Hatzimihail Group for a 60 percent share in Joss.
Plans for the partnership included a 5.5 litre V8 powertrain of German origin (although not identified, this makes Mercedes-AMG the obvious source) and a public listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2015.
Thomas’s dream for the JP1 includes a sub-1000kg weight, a tubular spaceframe chassis and a high-tech Albins transmission.
Thomas believes the supercar will be capable of a 0-100km/h time in the realm of 2.5 to 2.6 seconds. And, if he can get it there, he intends to lock in a sub-seven minute run of the Nurbugring Nordschleife.
Acceleration and lap times like that would make the JP1 a rival to just about any of today’s top-end performers.
Now he just needs to make it happen.
“Despite the complexity of the past six months, Joss is proud that we are steadfast in our objective and looking forward to bringing Australia its first ever supercar,” Thomas said.