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Tiny Secma F16 Roadster offers unique French take on track-day toy


secma f16 roadster 005

secma f16 roadster 005

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It shares its name with a famous American fighter jet for the obvious connotative reasons, but the resemblance ends there. A sports-roadster on the scale of a Smart ForTwo, the Secma F16 offers a bare-bones take on the sports car.

Gullwing doors, a retractable top and the overall vibrant look make inroads toward desirability, but the car just isn't practical enough to be a contender for anyone's daily driver. There is no adjustable seat, or steering wheel, or even pedal box. For that matter there are no floormats or glove compartments - not even a dead pedal to rest one's foot on. The car's 9.0 (2.75m) length, 5.77ft (1.76m) width, 3.6ft (1.10m) height and absolutely minimalist design approach apparently don't allow for such 'luxuries' as these. As you might infer, the tiny dimensions aren't likely to inspire a great deal of confidence on the open road, but this is hardly a practical car at any rate.

Powered by a rear-mounted 1.6L Renault 16v engine rated at 105hp (78kW) and 109lb-ft (148Nm) of torque, paired with a five-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels, the car nevertheless lays claim to a decent power-to-weight ratio. It's not breathtakingly fast, but it's quick: 0-62mph (100km/h) takes 5.9 seconds, and top speed is a very likely terrifying 112mph (180km/h).

A double wishbone suspension up front and trailing arm suspension rear, coupled with its tiny size and light (1,200lb/560kg) weight offer the promise of a new definition of 'go-kart-like' handling. Weight distribution is set at a Porsche-like 40% front/60% rear. For a starting price of just €17,000, it's also an affordable track toy - though it'll take a driver with suitably huge self-confidence to ply the tiny F16 on a track with full-size race cars, or onlookers of any sort.
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