It's called the Wells Vertige and looks like it's worth every penny.
"I had a pretty wide choice, but nothing appealed so, in the end, I decided to make my own car." Those are the words of Robin Wells, an entrepreneur who began the journey to his own car back in 2014. Like so many creators of iconic sports cars that have been borne of the same sentiment, Wells was spoilt for choice but found nothing that really hit the spot. For some, things like the Ferrari 296 GTB may be spectacular, but too expensive and the new BMW 2 Series would be ideal but doesn't come with a manual. The Mazda MX-5 Miata does, but perhaps you want something mid-engined.
You can understand why Wells eventually decided to blaze his own trail, but what is his recipe for the ideal sports car?
Called the Wells Vertige, it has a composite body mounted on a steel monocoque chassis. Between the two, a tubular steel roll cage sits with tubular frames at each end for mounting aluminum double-wishbone suspension. That suspension is connected to Speedline alloy wheels wrapped in 17-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber. Dihedral doors add some drama to the two-seater, which happens to offer a decent trunk and even a full-sized spare wheel. See, while Wells clearly wants his sports car to handle beautifully, he also wants it to be affordable and easy to live with, and that's something that every car enthusiast can resonate with.
In total, this car is the same length as a Ford Fiesta, but the Ford connection runs deeper with a Ford 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine developing a modest but usable 208 horsepower. As you'd hope, a six-speed manual handles the gear changes, and with a weight of just 1,873 pounds, it'll be loads of fun. 0-60 mph is promised in under five seconds and top speed is claimed to be over 140 mph.
The first batch of just seven cars have all been sold to "friends and family" and should be delivered in spring 2022 at a cost of £40,000 (roughly $55,000 at current exchange rates). It's been benchmarked against the likes of Caterham, Porsche, Mini, and the Miata, so it's guaranteed to produce huge smiles. It'll make its public debut at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed, and we expect to hear more from Wells on more models soon.