15.09.2005 - Project Tempest - Sportcars made in UK

Professor Krish Bhaskar who formerly led the Triple A bid for failed MG Rover Group Ltd, has unveiled his vision for the future, following the sale of the Longbridge based business to China’s Nanjing Automotive.

Professor Bhaskar said: “I am currently in discussions with a number of potential partners, to re-establish a well known brand from the heyday of the British motor industry. Codenamed ‘Project Tempest’, development work on a core range of affordable, high performance cars, is now at an advanced stage. The basic package will cost as little as £25,000, offering performance and handling characteristics traditionally associated with cars costing significantly more.”

“Irrespective of specification, all cars will be electronically limited to a top speed of 155mph. Even the base model will possess sprightly acceleration, with a 0-60mph time of less than 5 seconds. Higher performance models will be capable of 0-100-0mph in under 12 seconds.”

However, Professor Bhaskar acknowledges that in developing the new models, drivability and safety have proven as important as straight line speed and raw performance.

“Each car will incorporate a host of active and passive safety features. Project Tempest is about creating a range of exciting and safe cars that are fun to drive, with class leading fuel economy. Impressive performance does not have to be at the expense of safety, or indeed drivability. So for instance, the performance of the car will ultimately be monitored by a series of on board computers. Most of the time, they will do little else other than passively monitor performance. But in the event that the vehicle could leave its performance envelope, they will intervene to ensure that the limits of the car are never exceeded.”

Professor Bhaskar will neither confirm nor deny suggestions, that the new car will be a spiritual successor to the Austin Healey 3000. But he does admit to having been inspired by the legendary British roadster.

“I would dearly like to a see a 21 st. century Healey,” says Professor Bhaskar “Who wouldn’t? Since the performance and engineering specification of the vehicle was signed off a few weeks ago, we’ve been busy finalising body design and have drawn inspiration from the heyday of the British motor industry. The attached image provides an indication of how a spiritual successor to a ‘Big Healey’ could look.”

About Prof. Bhaskar and MIRU:

Professor Bhaskar is the founder of the Motor Industry Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (MIRU, Nice, France).

MIRU is a global leader in the supply of motor industry research information and was originally established in 1970. Today, the company is based in Nice, France. MIRU has been one of the leading automotive forecasting agencies specializing in automotive demand and other forecasting for the motor vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. MIRU has been concentrating on production forecasts geared to the needs of automotive suppliers and the industry in general. MIRU is also one of the leading authorities in the World on distribution, block exemption, marketing, product policy, long term policy, productivity, profitability, plant location and construction and many other fields. It specialises in the automotive field.

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