The DeHavilland F48 will make its debut at Stoneleigh 2019 and it’s a two-seat, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined sportscar.

DeHavilland boss, Terry Groves told me: “The brief we gave ourselves for the car we are now launching as the F48 was quite a complex one. It involved designing a car that was unique, quick to assemble, had good performance, was easily maintainable, functional, offer very good value for money and finally could be assembled by a complete novice.

“In order to accomplish everything set out in our design brief we have had to seriously look at how kitcars and mainstream sportscars are manufactured and assembled. We then decided to turn things up a notch and see if we could incorporate everything in our design brief into a car that could be assembled in 48 hours.

“We knew in the early design stages that our car had to offer something you couldn’t get for the money in the mainstream market, Lotus Seven-style has become very popular by offering people edge-of-your-seat thrills but we didn’t just want to do yet another Lotus Seven clone. It had to be unique to the kitcar industry as well as the mainstream market.

“Inspiration was taken from the highly-acclaimed Lotus Elise a car dubbed as a modern-day Lotus Seven except the engine was in the rear and the car looked wide and low not long and slender like the original Lotus.

“So, we decided to use the Lotus Elise’s layout but present it in a way that the long and slender lines of the original Lotus Seven were maintained in the bodywork giving an almost front engine appearance. The resulting design of the F48 seemed to be the perfect fit encompassing mid-engine balance and a slender sweeping body.

“From a very early stage, speed of assembly was a massive consideration. Our lives are very much busier than they were 15-20 years ago and an all too common sight is the unfinished project up for sale on eBay.

“Very quickly it became clear to make the car modular in design and decided to adopt the front/rear subframe and central tub design used by Lotus, Mclaren and the Alfa Romeo 4C.

“The MG TF was a donor we were very familiar with from use in our Dino replicas and looked to be a perfect choice. The front and rear subframes carry all the suspension, steering rack, engine and gearbox. All we had to do was design central tub to take both the MG TF subframes and subsequent rolling chassis could be constructed in a very short space of time. Our resulting spaceframe central tub design allows both MG TF subframes to be bolted to it in less than an hour.”

We’ll bring you more info on this one next week, although you can see it for yourself, in the flesh, at Stoneleigh this weekend.

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