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Zenos – Norfolk’s newest sports car maker

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November 16, 2016
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Our home county of Norfolk has a proud and successful history when it comes to lightweight sports cars, from one-off builds and kit cars to F1 World Championship-winning racing cars. The lightweight ethos of the likes of Lotus, and now of newcomers Zenos, was born here.

Damien Cross went to the factory to see what the new E10 series is all about.

“It’s October and the roads are greasy, so a tough test for any car. I took the turbocharged E10S edition out for a drive on track and on the twisty Norfolk roads to see if that lightweight ethos still brings a smile. Can it compete with solid, expensive ‘sports’ cars built by other brands, or does Zenos’ inexperience ultimately mean it still has much to learn, and does their low-cost car lack in some departments?

“With this 2.0 EcoBoost engine it’ll be producing 250bhp when the revs build up, so in a car weighing well under 800kg including an optional six-speed gearbox and a tank of fuel (even a diminutive new Fiat 500 weighs a fair chunk more than that) Zenos’ claimed 0-60 time of 4 seconds flat comes as no surprise. This E10S has the same kind of bhp/tonne as a Lamborghini Diablo, after all. Plus, having the weightiest bits sat right over the rear wheels means the tyres grip like a rusty rivet when you’re pulling away from standstill.

“In fact, it’s only approaching triple-figure speeds when on track, hurtling into corners which were scary enough to be banned by the BBC, that the rear-end of the car decides to have a bit of a wander and try to take the lead. Even then, it’s playful rather than frightening.

“The combination of a recycled carbon tub, aluminium chassis, and no-frills equipment keeps the weight down. Pairing that with track-ready Avon tyres which are about as groovy as Alan Partridge mean you’d really struggle to find the limits of this car on a dry public road.

“It’s also quite a nice place to sit – it’s roomier than you’d think, well-thought out, and the digital dash and keyless ignition mean it could even be considered modern by sports car aficionados.

“It’s impressive stuff from this new brand, and to base themselves within turbo-chatter-shot of the Lotus HQ in Hethel is a bold and almost aggressive show of confidence. But you know what? They’re well within their rights to be so bold.

“There’s something in the mustard around here that means they like getting from A to B along twisty roads in a short time. I’ve driven a lot of cars like this in all weathers and for all reasons, and I can tell that Zenos have produced a decent little sports car here.

“The team at Zenos seem very proud of their E10, but hinted at more to come. Any volunteers out there offering to check out their next car (when it comes)? Although, I’m not sure you’re going to be able to stop me getting my hands on it first.”

  • Pingback: Zenos - the upstarts treading on Lotus toes - Influx()

  • Steve Bennett

    Went bust less than a month later!!!!

  • Victor Meldrew

    I suppose the small-penis brigade will be queueing up to buy one.

    • Doubting Thomas

      Vic, I have an incredibly large one and If I could afford one I would get one !

    • James Gilbey

      Some people buy things like this because they are fun. Or dont you have fun.
      I am over 60 and have a large Harley Davidson.

      • Bob low

        Sorry but i have a healthy Wife, Kid’s & Grandchildren and i would like to point out we have fun ok.. and i don’t actually see where a car or a Harley for that matter fits into said Equation on either side. Why oh Why folk have to create pointless Blather and come up with petty comments about body parts. Look all items are a matter of personal taste IF you don’t like a product PERSONALLY that is your choice no one else’s. Why feel the need to try and force your opinion on others by insulting them. Ok if you own said item and are in a position to give a honest review of it for good or bad that’s fine ( in my case ) that would be @ 20 years ago a Very VERY Tail happy Tickford Capri.. I loved that car to bits but hand on heart i could and would never recommend one to anyone else ( if i run into a good one again now i will buy it instantly ) .. But it seems immature and childish to rant about a item you know Jack about it just seems that you either want one but for some reason or other cant have one or are not allowed or afford one ( sad yes, but not anyone else’s fault or the manufacture’s fault either ) Me personally can see the appeal yes but not my cuppa tea I’m more of the large Muscle car customer, I keep promising myself cars like a RCF Lexus or a Mustang all well and good but sadly
        both my Bank Manager and My Bank account say’s different on that matter so I guess ill slum it for a few more months in my Veyron for now … well at least until I wake up in the morning and check my lotto ticket ( that I forgot to buy so I know I did not lose at least ) …

  • Jon samuels

    It needs a clip on rag top, pop off side screens—as was back in the day………….

  • Damien Cross

    Hi Bob – apologies if you felt I made the car seem dull – with limited shooting time and busy back roads there was little chance of tail-out action! Regarding the top speed, we did ask Zenos but they were unsure so we cut that from the film. Regarding the pricing compared to other cars, I specified ‘supercar that would do the same sort of performance’ so was not referring to a Pixo or Veyron. You can get a Zenos E10S with track pack for just under £38k so that relates nicely to a third or quarter of base supercars from McLaren or Aston. Just quickly regarding the stalling/bad driving – not sure which part you’re referring to? Finally I’d like to thank you for taking time to view the video, and agree it’s a great bit of news that the company has been saved!

  • Dr. Mike G. Beech

    Have no roof on a car in the UK? Sure, that’ll work for the three days of summer!




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