On the back of a flyer for various fast food and family dining joints in my area, I spotted an ad for the Tomahawk Kit Car. Intrigued, I decided to take a closer look...
The Tomahawk is a brand new, 100% Quebec-designed kit car from a company called Dubuc SuperLightCar which offers to put you into a racy and super-light mid-engine car with Corvette C4 suspension for about $20,000, plus a few miscellaneous parts:
- Donor Car (FWD engine and transmission combo)
- Complete Front Corvette C4 Suspension (hub to hub)
- Rear Bearings and Holder
- Wheels and Brake Components
- Electrical Wiring
- Fuel Tank
- Seat Belts
All told, you could probably build a complete unit for $35000. For those of you who count differently, that's roughly 1.5 V6 Ford Mustangs or 96,397,488 Dogecoins (at the current spot exchange rate).
The car has a polymer body and comes with scissor doors pre-hung, saving you the frustration and heartache of a badly-mounted door that just won't close. It comes coloured (not painted) directly from the manufacturer, in two-tone black and your choice of one of 5 colours.
The look is what you'd expect from a kit car trying too hard - simultaneously over-angular and strangely rounded, where nothing quite matches up. It's not straight-up ugly, but it's not exactly inspired either. And there's the beak - may the Lord help those pedestrians you just ran into, because they will likely never walk again.
The interior has no speedometer or instrumentation, none at all. There is what appears to be a touch-screen device mounted awkwardly in the centre. I'm guessing that it is of limited real-world utility and will either be (a) an iPad with a special application that doesn't work well, or (b) a cheap Android knock-off device that doesn't work well.
And while the interior looks cramped, it should allow taller drivers - up to 6'3" - to fit.
So what sets this car apart from other kit cars? Apparently, it's the chassis. The Tomahawk claims to have the first kit car chassis with both front and rear crumple zones (bonus: the doors also include side-impact beams). It's a lightweight affair - 300 lbs. - made of 6061 T6 bolted and bonded aluminum tubes and sheets, which is the "same technology used by Lotus, Jaguar and Aston Martin."
It promises both stiffness and safety. Whether or not those crumple zones have been tested outside of a computer simulation is another question.
And this car has one more trick up its sleeve: not only can you put in a FWD setup from your old Corolla S, or perhaps a high-revving Hayabusa motor, but it can also be built with a full electric drivetrain. In partnership with local companies specialising in electric powertrains and electronic controls, you can have the chance to go fast and be green at the same time.
No pictures are available of an actual installed electric drivetrain, unfortunately. It was announced for the Quebec auto show in March 2014, but no pictures of it have surfaced. At least we have this - any ideas what it is?
Overall, the Dubuc SLC Tomahawk looks like an interesting effort to build a proper sports kit car which checks all the boxes:
- Mid-engined layout with RWD;
- Manual or automatic transmission (you can put whatever you want in there);
- A lightweight aluminum chassis and plastic body (a complete model with a turbo 4-cylinder engine was shown this year in Montreal, weighing in at only 628 kg);
- Enhanced safety compared to other kit cars;
- Sport suspension from a Corvette;
- And, most importantly, flashly looks that should get you all the babes and/or dudes you can handle.
The reality, of course, may be very different. Despite an interesting concept, there is little news of them since the auto shows finished at the beginning of the year. The company ran what was by all accounts a very unsuccessful Indiegogo campaign in 2013 and the latest update on their website is from January 21, 2014. Perhaps they're busy prepping the first few orders.
Regardless of how it turns out, I hope these guys are having fun and I wish them success. Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to have my legs chopped off by a sporting gentleman in a 100% Quebec-designed and locally-built kit car with Lambo doors and a tree-hugging plug-in electric drivetrain.
All photos taken from the Dubuc SLC Tomahawk website (http://superlightcar.ca) and remain the property of their owner.