Javan R1 takes aim at Elise

Move over Lotus... there's another British sports car in sight that hopes to knock the Elise into touch

This is the R1, a hand-built roadster made by Javan Sports Cars, a specialist firm based in Cornwall. With sharp lines, a high-revving Honda powerplant and a competitive price, it promises to be a real thriller.

As with the Yamaha motorbike with which the Javan shares its name, the R1 offers stunning performance. Weighing only 670kg, the two-door has a power to weight ratio of 328bhp per tonne, and can sprint from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. The quarter-mile dash is claimed to take only 12.2 seconds.

This performance comes courtesy of a mid-mounted 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine feeding power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Developing 220bhp and revving to 8,600rpm, the Honda unit is also used in one of the car's key rivals - the Ariel Atom.

The R1 has aluminium panels and features a honeycomb monocoque construction, which helps to keep weight down without compromising stiffness.

A price tag of £30,139 is competitive with low-volume sports car rivals. That makes the R1 £1,144 more expensive than the Lotus Elise R, but £861 cheaper than Caterham's CSR 200.

A working prototype is already on the road, and the new model is destined for production, with left and right-hand-drive versions planned.

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