MEXICO CITY – After exciting motorists with the Vuhl, the first ultra-light, high-speed Mexican sports car, the brothers Guillermo and Iker Echeverria are focused on turning out a new limited edition that will be treasured by collectors and car fanatics.
“We produce 25 cars a year – two each month,” EFE was told by Guillermo, the eldest of the brothers who seven years ago poured into the Vuhl all the greed-for-speed DNA they inherited from their father, a former Mexican racing driver.
The Vuhl plant has a capacity for producing 60 sports cars a year, an amount that could easily be doubled, according to Guillermo, though he himself likes to say that a maximum of 100 cars a year would be a “healthy point for the brand.”
“For the plans we have and the kind of auto we make, we wouldn’t want to grow much more,” said Guillermo, 35, an industrial designer for the brand’s Car and Toy boutique in Mexico City.
He said the Vuhl company doesn’t really want to produce more because it prefers to invest in technology to make a better car, and therefore “be able to charge a good price.”
Iker, 33, winner in 2007 of Mexico’s Quorum industrial design prize when he was a student, nailed the concept down by saying what is different about the Vuhl is being “made to measure” for the customer, who then becomes the owner of an exclusive “limited-edition” product.
Since its presentation in 2013 in the UK after 38 months of work on its design and construction, the Vuhl 05 won a place in the luxury car niche because it had become such an attraction for collectors and car enthusiasts.
The Vuhl’s success at a price that starts at $109,000 (2.2 million Mexican pesos) led the Echeverrias to open points of sale in London and the United Arab Emirates, and since mid-2016 in Mexico City.
In July 2015 they launched the 05RR model, which they consider the “most aggressive version” of the car, since they managed to lower the vehicle’s weight by 100 kilos (220 lbs.) while boosting the motor’s power by 100 hp.
The new model weighs 640 kilos (1,500 lbs.) and can speed up to 255 kph (158 mph), has a 305-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder version of the Ford 2-liter Turbo EcoBoost DOHC engine, and accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 2.7 seconds.
“Our company is continually developing new technologies that we filter into our vehicles – we have drastically raised the weight-power ratio, which is our biggest value-added, and which put us at the top of the niche we were after,” Guillermo said.
The next step will be a launch in the United States, the “ideal market,” according to Guillermo, who has no fear about the situation created by US President Donald Trump – though the news “isn’t encouraging,” he acknowledged.
Iker recently took the Vuhl to the Race of Champions in Miami, where it got a high-speed test by two world champion Formula One racing drivers, France’s Sebastian Vettel (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and Jenson Button of the UK (2009).