Same country. Two vastly different cars.
Outside of Bugatti and its range of insanely powerful monsters like the Chiron, France isn't often associated with hypercars or track-oriented machines. Rather, the likes of Citroen and Renault continue to churn out quirky and sophisticated compacts that sell strongly in Europe. But something quite special has just emanated from France in the form of the Quarkus P1, a lightweight, track-only supercar. When we say lightweight, we mean it - this car weighs a mere 500 kg or 1,102 pounds. It makes even the lithe Mazda MX-5 Miata seem bloated, as the little Japanese roadster is more than twice the weight of the P1.
Revealed this past week by Damien Alfano, the CEO and Founder of Quarkus, the P1's philosophy is at odds with everything Bugatti represents. Here, less is more, and that matters on a track. In a post on LinkedIn, Alfano said that "Quarkus does not make a 2-ton electric tank" in a jibe to pretty much everyone else making heavy EVs right now. At the heart of the P1 is a 1.0-liter turbocharged hybrid engine that makes between 250 and 300 horsepower. Able to rev to 10,000 rpm, it sounds like a riot in a car that weighs so little. That works out to a weight/power ratio of between 3.6 and 4.4 pounds/horsepower. The P1 also has a fully-adjustable chassis and floor links, although no further technical details have been shared yet.
Like many track-only supercars, the P1 is more functional than pretty in appearance. Rather than a traditional hood, there's a cutout where a traditional grille would be that likely does a brilliant job of funneling air over the car's body, making it as slippery as possible. There are no traditional headlights, just slanted daytime running lights. At the back, there's a dramatic wing above two centrally-positioned tailpipes. Alfano said that more details will be revealed in the days ahead, as well as pre-order conditions. The French-built car will be exhibited from 26-30 January in Paris at the Festival Automobile International.