Friday, April 13, 2012

Kit Cars: Taking Replicas Seriously

Introduction: Kit Cars

        So you can't quite afford a Ferrari 355, 360, Lamborghini Murcielago; well, kit cars replicate the genuine super cars and exotics for a fraction of the original price. These days, kit cars are becoming so refined that they are able to be inter fitted to the real thing. That is to say, in case your genuine Murcielago is involved in a crash, and genuine replacement panels seems to be too pricey, you can actually refit it with certain replica parts. These parts are molded from real panels, thus all the dimensions are correct. Why would some people invest their time and money in kit-cars, given that they are unproven and pose certain risks in terms of reliability, overall looks, durability and so on? The most common reason is affordability, while the other reason could be passion. Building or replicating a genuine car could be very interesting, more so when it comes to choosing and sourcing parts yourself; kit cars is for enthusiasts only, and not anyone with a wad of cash in hand.

Going forward, I was browsing through some kit-car related article and I found this company called eXtreme Cars. Their kits are mostly molded from original counterparts, and they take into consideration of the donor car very well. The dimension of the replica car is correct when compared to the real thing, thus it would be hard to tell a fake from a real one. The only downside in terms of authenticity at this point seems to be the interior, as the dashboard could be hard to replicate. 

Kit Car: eXtreme Cars' Replica of the Lamborghini Murcielago

The donor car is a Toyota MR2, which could be bought relatively cheaply outside of Malaysia. However, in Malaysia they retail for RM30k to RM50k onwards, roughly USD$10k to USD$15k (Price as of 2010). Given the exorbitant price of the car itself in Malaysia, the legality of driving it on the road is another issue. On the other hand, which Malaysian authority would stop an exotic car? *wink*. 

The Price (1 UK pound as of 2010 = RM4.9)
  • Extreme Murci Body Kit - £9995 
  • Wheel Spacers from around £400
  • Wheels & Tyres from £1000
  • Window Regulators - £300
  • Window Set - £650
  • Grills from £150
  • Rear Lights from £300
  • Badges around £100 to £2002 2nd Hand £10,000
Toyota MR2 to be used as donor car

The price of the car, kit, and parts needed costs roughly RM120k excluding import costs for the kit from UK. The car itself could be sourced from Malaysia. Labour is also not included, but given the modification scene in Malaysia it is readily available. So for about 1/10 of the price, you could very well get a replica that passes off for the real thing. Let the pictures speak for itself.

The Kit itself

Finished Product

Which is real? 


Difference between original and fake