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The car that Top Gear couldn’t get
Here are some of the specs of Spain’s first ever supercar which we got to steer around Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo race circuit in what was the world’s first media track test of the only GTA Spano in existence at the time. The above photo shows one of two production cars which have just been built.
Powered by a GTA Supercharged V10 of 8.3 litres; 581 kW (780hp) or 626 kW (840 hp) using Bioethanol; 920 Nm of torque: Max speed is more than 350km/h, and acceleration from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds!
This is one seriously quick car built by the highly successful Valencia based Formula 3000 racecar manufacturer, GTA Motor.
The thought of a specially tuned 8.3- litre V10 mid-mounted supercar on a closed F1 test track, was well worth the budget induced but nonetheless torturous night’s sleep at a regional airport in Germany in freezing conditions wearing only a lightweight T-shirt.
The Spano weighing in at just 1350 kilograms (all liquids including a 120-litre fuel tank) is a different kind supercar, employing space age technology to create a brutally fast machine, which is also relatively user friendly.
I should add, the prototype car ran the Windows XP operating system and thankfully, it didn’t crash during our test.
That said it’s a stunning looker designed by GTA Motor’s engineering director, Valencia-born Sento Pallardo and exclusivity is guaranteed with just 99 examples to be built.
It’s all about airflow with the Spano, and there are multiple intakes front, back and sides, which are near perfectly integrated into the overall design of the car.
We were lucky enough to see another car under construction and it truly is a study in exotic materials. The chassis is made entirely out of carbon fibre, titanium and Kevlar for maximum strength and stiffness that is some four times greater than many other supercars on the market.
Even the wing mirrors are framed in carbon fibre with the extended arm, machined in aeronautical aluminium.
The roof of the car is just as interesting, and is more a large glazed surface employing a patented system of interior lighting and liquid crystal shading.
In other words, the driver can regulate the precise amount of light through the roof at any time. Moreover the unique sun visors are set into the actual glass windscreen and operate with that same light emitting technology.
And don’t bother looking in the rear view mirror (not that anyone will be passing you on the autopista) there isn’t one. Instead, there’s a rear camera that projects on to an LCD screen which to be honest, takes some getting used to. There’s also a second rear camera which assists when reverse parking.
Press the small company logo flush mounted into the carbon fibre B- Pillar and the doors, which fit perfectly into the air intakes, open up electrically.
The seats are more comfortable than in most of the supercars we have driven in the last 12 months although, more side bolster would be a welcome feature in the production models, two of which have just been completed.
Climb into the cockpit and you are confronted with a large race style manual sequential shifter with seven speeds and similar to that used in the V8 Supercars although, this particular version required Herculean effort on each shift.
Production models are also available with an automatic sequential with paddle shifters, or a manual in H pattern.
No problems with the stoppers though, as they are massive carbon ceramic six-pot calipers courtesy of AP Racing.
Ricardo Tormo is the kind of circuit that can deal heavy G-forces in several of its corners, accentuated by the prodigious grip of the super-sized 335/35 rear tyres.
It’s an exceptionally well-balanced car with near perfect poise through the turns at high speed.
It also doesn’t help matters when your second camera guy is of the large variety and trying to shoot without wearing a harness.
There are few user-friendly supercars these days, but the GTA Spano is one such vehicle. With a turning circle of 10.8 metres and an electronic nose lift system, which can raise the car by up to 8 centimetres, shopping malls are fair game.
The prototype we drove was also slightly down on power, but hopefully we shot enough action footage of the car to appreciate Spain’s take on the supercar.
Here’s a short teaser of the GTA Spano on Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.