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AIMS: Aussie supercar revealed

Local hero: Australian company Joss will display its latest supercar prototype at this year's AIMS.

Seven years on, Joss returns to Melbourne motor show with latest supercar prototype

27 Jun 2011

JOSS Developments has revealed the first images of its long-awaited locally built supercar ahead of the appearance of a development mule at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne this week.

The still-unnamed car in the photos features much more edgy and contemporary styling than the smooth but plain model that first appeared more than seven years ago at the Melbourne motor show.

While the front-end displays a whiff of Nissan GT-R, the rear-end looks to have been influenced by the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Although the images show a red near-production car, the vehicle appearing at the Melbourne show on Friday will be a prototype described by the company as a “dusty matte-black car that has been the test bed for a variety of components currently under development”.

Joss – named after an otherwise anonymous Victorian miner its founder saw in an 1860 book – has yet to give the supercar a formal name, but is using an internal code of JP1 for ‘Joss Production car One’.

The Melbourne-based company has yet to reveal details of the engine – long believed to be a 6.6-litre all-aluminium V8 – but promises 400kW of power, startling 0-100km/h acceleration of less than three seconds and a top speed of 360km/h.

141 center imageLeft: The Joss prototype from the Melbourne show in 2004.

Company founder and technical director Matt Thomas admitted that the road from concept sketch to production of the two-seater has been a long one, but said the migration from clay modeling and computer-aided design to the developmental stages was crucial.

“The car’s styling is the result of considerable time and effort,” said Mr Thomas.

“The design team has worked hard to integrate the car’s technical needs with our customers’ design expectations.

“Its attitude as a fast, high-performance sportscar is immediately apparent, but surface styling is as much about airflow and packaging constraints as it is about visual excitement and attractive design.”“What you see in these first public images is the tip of the iceberg – it’s what you cannot see that has been the focus for the Joss team in recent months.

“This vehicle on display is not our production model but it plays a vital role in validating and proving numerous assemblies and parts.

“We think it’s important to give the public a small glimpse of what has been going on behind the scenes at Joss, so we decided to share this often unseen part of our project at this year’s motor show.”

Mr Thomas said much of the time since the surprise debut of the first prototype in 2004 has been spent “establishing and fortifying the business that’s behind this exciting sports car” and attracting investors.

“The Joss project has not solely been about building a supercar a large part has been about building the car company that will produce this exciting vehicle.

“Being such a unique enterprise, we have encountered a number of business people with a desire to be part of this venture.”

A year ago, Joss established a $1 million-plus technical partnership for a state-of-the-art transmission with Victorian company Albins Off-Road Gear, which is to supply future V8 Supercar grids with racing transaxles.

Joss Developments has also established technical partnerships with Bosch and MoTeC (vehicle electronics), Michelin (tyres), Force Tools (workshop equipment), AkzoNobel (paint), AP Racing (brakes) and OZ Racing (wheels).

“Our goal is to deliver the first production-standard Joss sportscars with the highest levels of quality and performance,” said Mr Thomas. “To achieve this you need to work with the best organisations and the best people.

“For us, the emphasis is not on rushing to market it is about entering with a special vehicle that meets the exacting standards customers will apply to this exclusive type of sportscar.”

Joss anticipates eventually producing as many as 25 cars a year, priced at more than $500,000.

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