A “Start-Up” Auto company is hard to conceive in America, oddly enough, with all the technology and regulations in cars today. There is one small American “Start-Up” that I can think of that has worked to an extent and that’s Panoz. The big problem with using Panoz as an example is that they have not done much outside of LeMans racing in nine years. Panoz based out of Hoschton Georgia, started its life in 1989 first developing their Roadster then in 2000 developing the Esperante and that’s about it.
What about here in Texas? There is a local North Texas man with a dream to build a sports car and make a “Start-Up” company called BXR Motors. Bailey and his partner have been working on the Blade since 2007 and are expecting a working prototype by the autumn of this year. He has really shown that it is possible to take a concept and an idea and turn it into reality in a small shop in Texas. Yet the question still remains, will BXR Motors survive or be prosperous? I have always said that the big problem with GM and the big auto industry is that they are too big. There is a place for big auto makers building cars but they also need to be offset by small car companies that build limited production cars. Look at Europe there are as many small companies building cars in sheds or on industrial estates, as there are big car companies. This is one reason why they make more attractive cars, there is more competition from enthusiast building cars and not just big companies.
On to the car!
All we have to work with is the looks and the numbers on paper, but that’s great because the looks are stunning and the numbers match the looks. While being all hand built and carved, what we do know is that the car is being built on a modified Cobra Kit Car chassis. The windshield, doors, and roof are based off an early nineties Miata. The engine of choice is a 550HP 5.4L Ford sourced V8 with a Roushcharger bolted on for good measure. The big V8 will be mashed to a six-speed gear box, powering the rear wheels of course, mounted behind the front axles to give the car a front/mid engine layout with an almost 50/50 weight distribution. Other major parts like suspension, brakes, and differential will be sourced from Ford or Roush as well.
The styling, Bailey says, is not from one car in particular but more the best bits from the best cars. It has almost a mean face with big open chucks in the front fascia letting the car breath in and supplying air to the massive brakes. The headlights look menacing, although sourced from the Mazda 3 you would never know. The hood has a GT40 style LeMans vents sucking air through the radiator and helping with the down force of the car. The dual bumped hood swings down to bulging hips covering the rear tires with an almost sensual rear end. All in all, the car looks fantastic, on paper.
The true test will be on the track. The now growing team of BXR Motors just moved their facilities to Texas Motorsport Ranch in Cresson Texas, one of the only country club style race tracks in the country. There they will tune and optimize their beast to lay down the massive 550 HP and tear up the track. Getting the handling and interior style down is a must as this car will be priced in the $100,000 range. This means that they are priced to compete with the likes of Panoz and the great sports cars of Europe, as well as the new Holy Grail, the ZR1. Those are big shoes to fill but with the unique styling and limited production of this car I’m sure it will be able to make its mark in the enthusiast world.
To find out more about BXR Motors visit their web site http://bxrmotors.com there they have what seems to me as a first ever, you are able to watch him build the car and he gives tips and tricks that he has found for making a ground up sports car.