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by Tim Beissmann

Aspiring Australian supercar maker Joss has breathed new life into its dream of building a Ferrari-beater and exporting it to the world.

The Melbourne-based automotive company is hoping to raise $480,000 through crowd-funding portal Kickstarter to build the first JP1 supercar by late-2015.

Joss founder Matt Thomas announced today the JP1 would be developed initially as a track car with 0-100km/h acceleration of approximately 2.8 seconds, a sub-10.5sec quarter mile, and a projected top speed of 340km/h. The JP1 will cost about $600,000, depending on specification.

“We believe we have developed a genuine high-end supercar which will hold its own, and even outperform, million-dollar-plus models from McLaren, Pagani, Ferrari, Porsche and Koenigsegg,” Thomas said.

“The industry feedback to our design concept and scale clay model has been phenomenal.”

JOSS clay model 1

Joss plans to initially build five ‘track specials’ with performance “akin to Le Mans or GT race cars”. The design of the Joss JP1 will be based on the computer-generated concept pictured above, but with “much more aggressive styling”, the company claims.

Beyond the first five track specials, Joss intends to develop the vehicle to comply with the small manufacturer compliance criteria in the UK, which it says will open the door to road use in the UK and many European companies.

The mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive JP1 will feature an all-aluminium 5.0-litre V8 producing an anticipated 420kW of power and 560Nm of torque. It will be equipped with an Albins multi-speed seamless transverse transaxle transmission built in Ballarat, Victoria, and feature carbon composite and lightweight components made using local production processes. AP Racing brakes and Michelin tyres will join the package, which will weigh an estimated 900kg.

Joss lists a number of stretch goals on its Kickstarter page. It says $570,000 in funding will allow it to complete development of the vehicle as detailed above and conduct a higher level of development of additional composites and weight reduction measures. Raising $740,000 will fund development of the initial stages of a hybrid driveline system with a kinetic energy retention system, while $920,000 will allow Joss to take the JP1 to a major global motor show, such as Detroit, Geneva, Beijing, Monaco or London.

Thomas also says a trip to the Nurburgring is also an important part of the JP1 being recognised on a global scale. He says the team hopes to take a car to the famous German circuit by mid-2016, and has its sights set on a sub-seven-minute lap time, which would put it in elite company alongside Porsche’s 918 Spyder hybrid supercar.

“We’re not going to head over there and be embarrassed,” Thomas said.

JOSS prototype under development

The Joss JP1 supercar project has the support of a number of major Australian automotive organisations including Bosch Australia, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Automotive Products and Manufacturers.

Joss was created in 1988 with the aim of creating a global supercar. In 2004, it released the JT1 prototype and conducted a number of tests at venues across the country. While basic, Joss says the JT1 helped justify the parameters that were established to support the JP1.

The Kickstarter campaign, launched today, will run for 40 days. As of 2pm, it had attracted $2515 in pledges.

People who contribute $10 or more will receive a gift from Joss. Backers who pledge $8000 or more will get an exclusive two-lap ride in the first Joss JP1 in late-2015, will be invited to the official press launch, and will receive one of 50 Joss pictorial books signed by Thomas, among other benefits.

Under Kickstarter’s policy, Joss only receives the money if the full $480,000 is raised by the October 1 deadline. If the project is underfunded, the pledges are not withdrawn from backers’ accounts.

Thomas admitted failing to raise money from the Kickstarter campaign would be a “major” setback for the JP1 project, but said the public fundraiser presented the company with a unique opportunity.

“If we can get 10,000 people to give $50 each, then Australia gets a supercar.”

Follow the link to the Joss JP1 supercar Kickstarter page to pledge your support.




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