Attending an Events O’Neill track day at Sandown last week, I was lucky enough to experience Elfin’s latest offering, the MS8 Clubman.
Elfin Sports Car Company from Braeside, Victoria had brought one each of their Clubman (pictured) and Streamliner models to the track, as well as Elfin test driver, and Porsche Cup racer, David Reynolds.
Whilst the car in it’s own right is brilliant, with a racer of Dave’s calibre at the wheel, it’s nothing short of awesome. My time on the track was about as much fun as I’ve had with my fly facing north. An exhilarating experience, heaps of lateral Gs, big power slides and stunningly crisp handling, the Clubman left me ginning like a Cheshire cat.
The best thing about the Clubman is how raw the experience is. The open cockpit lets you feel the force of the air you’re cutting through, enjoy the bark from the big twin pipes, and take in the smell of the 18” rubber and competition brakes doing their thing though the infamous turn one. Every sense is involved, and being such a snug fit, an impression of being at one with the car is strongly felt.
As for the car itself, it’s the ultimate low-slung open wheel roadster. Two seats, no doors, and no roof.
Classic Le Mans styling lends a silhouette reminiscent of sports cars from a bygone era, but with all the goods our modern day technology provides, the Clubman is a worthy adversary to just about any race spec’ed car brave enough to try its luck.
Each car’s multi-tubular space frame is hand crafted and jig assembled from square tube, a design method unique to Elfin. Suspension can be optioned with rose joints and is fully adjustable, as is brake bias, and the optional Koni dampers. Pedal box, seat position and steering column can also be set in accordance to driver preference. In all, the whole package can be altered to grow with your level of experience.
The driveline is derived from Holden’s VY Commodore SS, sharing engine, gearbox and differential (LSD optional). The ABS and Traction Control systems too are of Holden origin, but are recalibrated to allow for more liberated driving.
From factory the 5.7l alloy V8 engine produces 245kw and a whopping 465nM, but can be tailored by Elfin to suit individual buyer’s specifications. When you consider it’s all wrapped in a package smaller than an MX-5 (and weighs in at 900kgs), the strength of performance given is quite literally breath taking.
With a sensational power-to-weight ratio of 3.67kg/kW, a 0-100km/h time of 4.4 seconds, and a price tag a tad under $90K, the Clubman shamed most other comers. Sharing the tarmac with some pretty big names (Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, BMW, STi, HSV), a few guys were left wondering why they’d shelled out the extra dosh.
Available in four colours (Ducati Red shown) and two trims, the Clubman is different enough to stand out in any crowd. It’s fun, attractive, agile and responsive, and is a must for any one considering a weekend racer.