Dubbed the JP Zero, check out this new Lotus Exige-based track monster in action.
Lotus hasn't made a new lightweight sports car since the Evora launched all the way back in 2009, and while the electric, 1,973-horsepower Evija hypercar was a welcome surprise when it was revealed last year, with production limited to just 63 units and a $2.1 million price tag, it's not exactly accessible. Thankfully, that's all set to change as Lotus, buoyed by the support of China's Geely, prepares to introduce an all-new generation of sports cars.
In the meantime, Austria's Jubu Performance is filling the need for an attainable Lotus performance car with a new full-carbon GT2 race car based on the Lotus Exige. Dubbed the JP Zero, the lightweight race car was unveiled back in August, and in the time since, Jubu has been busy, getting production rolling and doing extensive testing to ensure the JP Zero meets performance expectations.
During testing on some well-known race tracks around Europe, racking up over 9,300 miles with two prototypes, Chief Test Driver Marko Klein was able to set some astonishing lap times.
At the Circuit Paul Ricard French circuit, the JP Zero set a time of 2:0644, while at the Red Bull Ring he set a best time of 1:29:51. To put that into context, with lap times like those, the JP Zero GT2 car would have finished midfield at this year's ADAC GT Masters GT3 class. Within just four months, JP Zero managed to improve the Red Bull Ring lap time by more than two seconds during intense testing, and there's still more room for improvement, as JD Zero is confident they can take off another second.
Helping the car achieve this lofty performance is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 generating up to 740 horsepower, working alongside a suite of carbon fiber bits that contribute to a featherweight 2,116-pound curb weight.
The mind-blowing part of all this: the JP Zero is being developed, manufactured, and marketed by a team of just 25 people.
"Creating a competitive and reliable car with such a small team was only possible because we fortunately were able to get fantastic engineers for our project," says Jubu's founder and owner, Martin Jung. "Moreover, decision-making at our company is fast and we intensively use the most advanced means of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing. Now, we are glad that we can provide our clients a car which is ultra-exclusive, but also capable of challenging race cars from big brands like Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi or KTM."
Three versions of the JP Zero will be available, including a track-day version that can be pushed hard for 100 hours without requiring any major maintenance, a more aggressive GT2-racing variant, and a road car. Production will be limited to 60 units, with the first examples currently being built in Austria, ready to hit the track in May 2021. Pricing starts at EUR 249.000 ($336,079), and while that may sound expensive, it's a lot cheaper than your average track-prepped Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren.