We’ve seen plenty of cars come in from Mexico, in recent years, as more and more makers take advantage of that country’s low labor costs and proximity to both the U.S. and fast-growing markets in Latin America. What we haven’t seen are cars produced by a Mexican car company. Until now, anyway.
That’s about to change with the upcoming launch of the new Mastretta MXT, a Lotus Elise-sized 2-seater being billed as Mexico’s first-ever sports car.
The Mastretta MXT got its introduction, this week, at the L.A. Auto Show, founder and product chief Daniel Mastretta suggesting the MXT is an example of “form following racing car design. But it’s a practical car that people can use every day.”
The semi-monocoque aluminum design makes use of lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, to enhance its strength while also holding down weight – which comes to just 2,100 pounds.
The vehicle, asserts Mastretta, was developed “from the inside-out,” to put an emphasis on usable performance from a small package measuring just 153.5 inches nose-to-tail, 69 inches wide and 46 inches tall. The little roadster’s wheelbase in 95.1 inches.
Power comes from a 16-valve intercooled turbo version of the Ford Duratec, an inline-four engine of 2.0-liters displacement. The Mexican manufacturer claims it will make 260 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque, channeled through a 5-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.
The maker is claiming 0 to 60 times of just 4.9 seconds, only a bit slower than the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera.
The MXT is being assembled by Tecnoidea, an engineering and design firm, at a plant in Mexico City. The firm bills itself as Mexico’s only native automaker.
Expect to see the Mastretta MXR reach the U.S. early next year with the price tag tentatively set at somewhere between $60,000 and $65,000, according to company officials.
Setting up a U.S. distribution network is a work in progress. But if Mastretta can pull it off, the start-up maker will be targeting buyers who might have opted for the Lotus Elise had the British company not halted imports this year.