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Korean supercar blasts into Goodwood

Mon, 02 Jul 2012

Believed to be the first-ever South Korean supercar, the 845-hp, mid-engine de Macross Epique GT1 made its European debut last weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The carbon tub, alloy-bodied Epique is the brainchild of a Korean oil magnate and avid car collector Keyser Hur, who is sinking part of his fortune into making the de Macross a reality.

“Mr. Hur loves cars, and he is following his dream to make his own car and company,” says company spokesman Yongbin Choi.

Engineered in Toronto by Canadian supplier company Multimatic, the Epique is powered by a supercharged 5.4- liter Ford V8 tuned by Roush and rated at 725 lb-ft of torque. Mounted midship, it mates to a Ricardo transaxle supported by an alloy rear subframe.

The front suspension features dampers by Formula One company DSSV, whose hardware is said to be used by Red Bull. The suspension is also supported by an alloy front subframe, which features cast suspension towers.

De Macross claims a 3,200-pound curb weight and a 0-to-62-mph sprint in 3.1 seconds. The top speed is claimed to reach about 230 mph.

Production plans are in their infancy, although U.S. and Middle East buyers are said to be able to order the Epique now with a six-month waiting time quoted. It costs about $1.5 million—plus taxes.

There are places in the Middle East where Bugatti Veyrons are commonplace, and the Epique is generating interest as an interesting alternative, the company said. De Macross first unveiled the Epique at the Dubai motor show in November last year.

The company is now working with a California engineering group, Turin International, to get engineering approvals for the U.S. market, but the plan is to sell a handful of models under the single-vehicle approval process. European approval is also on the to-do list.

“There are enough permits around now for what we need,” said Turin owner David Hops.

One of the biggest challenges facing the company is to get a profile for the name de Macross, which was chosen for its European sound. It has no motorsport heritage.

By Julian Rendell