Development of the Vortex V2

The inspiration for the Vortex V2 was to emulate the virtues of a Lotus 7 type, but to move the concept on with modern looks, proportion and more visual excitement, with the benefits of a rear engine (better packaging/less cockpit noise, better traction). A direct injection engine stays with the contemporary theme, although the 2.0 Ecoboost would not package at the front because of its overall height (it has counterbalance shafts in the sump) and a low mounted turbo.

The second Prototype is a major revision of the first, with every chassis tube changed. Downsizing has been a major aim, and the car is 3" shorter in wheelbase, 6" shorter in body length, the chassis is 3/4" narrower and 1.5” lower. Wheels have changed from 18" x 8”all round, to 16" x 7” front and 17" x 7.5” rear. 100 changes in total!

Lower production side panels, a new nose (minus aerofoils), revised tail section with teardrop shaped blister to cover engine hard point and lower rear shape to enclose the chassis better, and a moulded centre tunnel add to the visual changes as do LED tail lights and unique mirrors. There is also a stowage box which fits inside the nose cone for crash helmets etc.

Mechanically, the wishbones are longer and wider based, the steering quicker, (now 2 turns lock to lock), solid discs with alloy calipers improve the un-sprung weight, redesigned electrics (by ex-F1 technicians) have the ECU’s now better placed inside the engine bay, headlight main beam is twinned with dipped beam for enhanced performance, and throttle actuation is now 2-channel fly-by-wire. The chassis is lighter and is better triangulated. The jack position is at the very front of the car inside the nose as is the battery for better weight distribution. The turbo piping is better optimised to eliminate throttle lag. Bespoke drive shafts are made from S155 steel. Handbrake is now from the Focus.

Features retained are the steering rack behind front axle centreline for safety, a 7.5 gallon central fuel tank (the gear change is mounted directly on to this), pendulum pedals for the best ergonomics, respectable shoulder and foot width for the reclined driving position, mini air deflectors on the cockpit fairings to deflect the air over the occupants heads, and uniquely a full width cooling slot underneath the chassis for the turbo intercooler and full width radiator. Vortex uses their own LM25 aluminium uprights and hubs on the V2 and the GTT.

Further refinements are on the way, as is the 1.6 Ecoboost option (25 kg lighter than the 2.0).

Main donor parts are Focus column, stalks and handbrake, engine/gearbox, Ford rack, discs and header tank, VW rear calipers, Hi-Spec front, ITG air filter.

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Vortex Automotive Ltd c/o 23 Woodmill Meadow, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2XP

© 2016 Vortex Automotive Ltd