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Magnum MK5 Revealed

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Track enthusiasts now have another option to consider when searching for their next toy: the all-new MK5 from Canadian race car constructor Magnum Cars. The MK5 is billed as a lightweight sports car designed for both street and track use, which puts it in an exclusive club that includes some worthy rivals such as the classic Caterham Seven and more modern Ariel Atom, BAC Mono and VŪHL 05.

At the heart of the MK5 is a mid-mounted four-cylinder engine that screams to 11,000 revs and produces 250 horsepower. With only 1,200 pounds to carry (dry), the engine rockets the MK5 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and sees it max out at 150 mph. Drive is sent to the rear wheels only, via a six-speed sequential gearbox and limited-slip differential.

Power numbers aside, the performance quality of the MK5 benefits from a formula race car-style pushrod suspension, with inboard two-way adjustable dampers, front and rear. The unequal length double a-arm suspension is combined with light alloys measuring 18 inches across and shod with 225/40 tires in the front and 265/35 in the rear. According to Magnum, owners can expect up to 2 g of lateral forces. Stopping power comes from four-piston calipers and ventilated steel discs at all four corners.

The body is entirely composed of carbon fiber composite materials and is removable for easy maintenance. Attached to the body are a number of functional aero pieces including a front wing and splitter, a flat underbody and a rear diffuser. The overall length of the MK5 is 154.1 inches.

More carbon fiber is used for the two-seater cockpit while aluminum and suede are used for the trim. The instrument cluster consists of a steering wheel-mounted backlit digital display, complete with an integrated laptimer and data acquisition system. A sliding pedal box, machined from billet aluminum, provides easy adjustability to accommodate drivers of different heights without tools.

Magnum is currently taking orders for its MK5, which is priced from $139,000 before taxes and destination. All of the features mentioned come standard though Magnum boasts a number of street and track packages available for the car. Production will be limited to 20 units per year and deliveries should start by late 2014.

Established in 1968 and based in Montreal, Magnum Cars has made a name for itself as a race car constructor. Several high-profile drivers, including Gilles Villeneuve, have driven Magnum-built cars in the past, and today the company is headed by Bruno St-Jacques, a racing driver himself.

"The MK5 is easy to maintain and, because it is built to take the abuse, [it] has very low running costs,” St-Jacques said in a statement. “It can easily be maintained by its owner or by any established sports car shop. It does not require a full crew or any special tools. You just jump in and drive."

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