India might not be the first country that comes to mind when you think about supercars, but that may soon change. America makes supercars like the Dodge Viper and Ford GT. The Porsche Carerra GT comes from Germany, the McLaren F1 is British, and of course Italy has Lamborghini and Ferrari. India has never produced a supercar before, but one man is trying to change that.
That man is Sarthak Paul, a 21-year-old entrepreneur and recent university graduate. Paul's company is called Mean Metal Motors, and they are aiming for having their first supercar prototype for their M-Zero supercar ready for the Paris Auto Show in 2016. Paul has employed a team of engineers from India's Manipal institute of Technology, who he called "the best automotive engineering talent in the country."
Paul has said that the inspiration for building this supercar came from watching a sailfish, which is the world's fastest sea animal. Referring to Mean Metal Motors, he asked "Then we thought, why don't we just analyze why the fastest sea animal is the fastest?"
The M-Zero will utilize the company's new smart material that they are calling "carbo-flax." This material is said to be lighter than carbon fiber and only 1/10th the price. The supercar will feature a mid-mounted, hybrid engine capable of over 500 horsepower, that can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under 3.0 seconds, with a top speed of 200 mph.
The car will likely be priced between $125 and $150 thousand, and will use technology that replaces keys with a fingerprint system. Drivers can create a profile which includes their preferred settings for air conditioning, music, and seat position.
Paul aims to compete with the fastest and most powerful supercars in the world, while helping the local Indian economy:
"We want to give them a car that's exactly the same or can do even more than a Lamborghini. (Our success) would give a boost to people who want to do something in the hardware world".
The M-Zero still has a long way to go before it is a reality, but everything has to start somewhere. If all goes well, someday Mean Metal Motors and the M-Zero will be competing with some of the most popular supercars in the world.