An automotive two-seater rocket called the Deronda is making its American debut at Sebring this week. The Deronda can be either a sports car or a racecar, depending on how you use the gas pedal, and it's coming from Great Britain for production and public consumption in the U.S. by Autosport Development in Trenton, Michigan.
David Moxlow, president of Autosport Development, will be assembling a limited production of the Deronda at his Trenton plant south of Detroit. The Deronda won't be racing at Sebring this week, but it will catch a lot of crowd attention in its display for the fans and press.
At first glance, the Deronda Sports Car looks like a modern hot rod made of Erector Sets and Legos, but the more you look, the stealthier it gets. Designed in the UK for pure and extreme performance, the car morphs into beauty like form follows function, and test drivers giggle like school kids as they whip around race courses.
Deronda F400 - Photo Courtesy: Autosport Development
As Moxlow says, "The Deronda is basically a road ready two-seater formula car. You can drive it to the track, race it to your heart's content, and then drive it home and park it in the garage."
The perfect customer for the Deronda already owns an Enzo Ferrari, but doesn't want to haul it around or risk his investment on the track. So he (or she) buys the Deronda, races it to the limit of their pulse rate, and keeps the Ferrari in the five-car garage, in pristine condition.
"At $70,000, the Deronda Sports Car is not exactly in the toy category, even for rich people," says Moxlow's Production Chief, Chris Trapp, "But the car is solid, low maintenance, and built from available componentry, so we think it will attract a whole range of enthusiastic customers who can only dream about owning the Ferrari."
The Deronda powertrain was developed by Audi Cosworth Technology, which is now owned by Mahle Powertrain L.L.C in Novi, Michigan. It includes an Audi Group 1.8 liter turbocharged engine with 5 valves per cylinder, and a Porsche 5-speed manual transaxle gearbox.
The chassis design and integral safety cell are modeled after Formula 1 standards, with double side-impact protection bars in addition to a steel tube chassis, longitudinally-braced double roll over hoops, and front and rear crash bar structures.
Since the Deronda jets from zero to 60 in under four seconds, the designed-in safety features are comforting factors. Two hundred and fifty brake horsepower (bhp) in a car weighing about 1,600 pounds will produce well over 300 bhp per ton. This makes the Deronda one of the fastest sports cars in the world, and the "glue in the corners" handling adds much to the excitement.
"At Autosport Development, we pride ourselves on fundamental engineering executed to perfection," says David Moxlow. "That's what we build into our racecars, and that's what we will deliver in the Deronda."
Moxlow's Autosport Development Team races twin Pontiac GTOs in the SPEED World Challenge GT Series. World Challenge races consist of a 50-minute sprint-race from a standing start. Racer magazine recently cited the series as "the most competitive road-racing series in the world."
The Deronda will be distributed through Sirius Motorsports L.L.C. Production of the fast moving vehicle (no pun intended) will begin in May.