Date:31 July 2008
British firm Keating Supercars has unveiled a slew of high performance two-seaters that seem destined to rattle the establishment – and then some. Even the normally aspirated “baby” of their range produces more power than an Aston Martin Vantage, while their top performer – a 1 120 kW special-order competition model – is said to outperform an F1 car.
Both the SKR (road car) and TKR (track) versions feature a drivetrain based on the GM LS2 and LS7 V8 engines, mated to derivatives of the Porsche transaxle. It slots into a steel space-frame chassis with integrated roll-hoop. Alternatively, TKR customers can specify the full carbon fibre chassis tub developed for the firm’s formidably quick Proto Two prototype.
The man behind the project is Anthony Keating, a hands-on enthusiast with all the academic and practical expertise required to create a world-beater. His design called for a stylish Italianate supercar with flowing lines that – as explained at the unveiling – tempered the “excesses” of Mediterranean automotive design with a dollop of English reserve!
From the beginning, the Keating concept was defined by a few essential requirements: no matter what the configuration or power output, the cars should not be temperamental or require constant tuning; engines should be under-stressed and reliable, with relatively long service intervals; balance should be near perfect, with the engine located ahead of the rear wheels and driving through a rear transaxle. By all accounts, Keating appear to have achieved their goals.
Interestingly, the cars will not be sold only as hard-as-nails performance vehicles; options include ABS, traction control, heated seats, a chiller in the glovebox, racing brakes on a road car, carbon fibre bodyshell on a steel chassis, GRP body on a carbon tub, custom paint job – you name it, you can have it. Says Keating: “We have taken the British car industry back to the days when customer choice was important.”
How about longevity? Here Keating is even more emphatic: “We won’t use customers as our R&D department. Although our cars will outperform most competitors, they will outlive our competitors as well.”