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Belgium's Supercar Gets a Successor

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On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


Belgium's Supercar Gets a Successor

It seems that no matter how long I write about supercars and the automotive industry, there's always some random exotic company out there—often in northern Europe—building a supercar that I've never heard of. The latest company to point to my insufficient supercar knowledge is Automobiles Gillet. Its new Vertigo .5 Spirit is a successor to the original Vertigo that was launched back in the 1990s and promises to deliver even more performance.

By supercar standards, the Vertigo .5 Spirit's engine specs are modest: 420 horses are pulled out of a 4.2-liter V8 engine provided by Maserati. But the Vertigo has never been about huge engines or high output. In fact, the original used an even smaller engine: a 350-hp 3.0-liter V6 from Alfa Romeo. Yet that car managed to tear to 62 mph in a very supercar-esque 3.3 seconds.

That disparity is due to the extreme weight of the Vertigo. Despite looking rather rounded and muscular, the Vertigo weighs just 990 kg (2,182 lbs.). For reference, Lamborghini's recent Sesto Elemento—a concept car that Lamborghini kept light with every trick in the book—weighed a hair over 2,200 lbs.

With the same weight as the original and a larger engine, the 2011 Vertigo .5 Spirit will potentially carry a sub-3-second 0-to-62 time—hypercar territory. Not bad for a Maserati V8. Especially since Gillet will offer buyers the opportunity to tune the engine for even more performance.

Other equipment on the Vertigo .5 includes a six-speed sequential transmission and 19-inch wheels.

In addition to its lightweight build, the Vertigo distinguishes itself from the pack of supercars with its distinctive looks. The exterior is inspired by the body of a cheetah, and to me, it succeeds in giving the impression of a taut, muscular animal ready to pounce. In a world of extremely derivative supercar designs; it's always nice to see something that looks entirely different. While the latest Gillet stands out from most other supercars, its design is nearly identical to that of the original Vertigo. But if it ain't broke, why fix it?

Launch is expected next year. No pricing information as of yet, but the last version cost $265K, so we'd expect to see this one upwards of $300.

The original Gillet Vertigo

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


Comments

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RoadKill | 10:40AM (Fri, Nov 12, 2010)

I know it's a supercar, but this thing has a butt ugly front end...



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