In a supercar world populated by names such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Pagani etc, it’s notable that the countries these wonderful car brands come from don’t include Australia. However, since 1998, there’s one bloke that’s been trying to change this; Matt Thomas. What’s important about this, though, is that Matt’s journey is not a pipedream, it’s one that’s involved people that have the highest level of experience in Formula 1, Le Mans, V8 Supercars and more. Matt, himself, has a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design and started his working life as an automotive design modeller. His clients include Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin and the Stewart Grand Prix F1 team.
The project? The JOSS JP1 Track Car. There’s some powerful specifications to go with it: 5.0L all alloy V8 engine, with the aim of extracting 420 kilowatts and 520 Newton Metres of torque plus a maximum rev limit of 8000 rpm, Albins transaxle, carbon composite body with a kerb weight of just 900kg, with an anticipated zero to one hundred kilometre per hour time of 2.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 340 km/h. Added to the recipe are the design elements of a slippery body, mid mounted engine behind a two seat configurtion, a smaller frontal area than Bugatti’s Veyron, lesser CO2 emissions plus better fuel economy and potential G forces of 1.2G laterally. The car itself is a development of the JT1, the test “mule” from 2004. Launched to great fanfare at the Melbourne Motor Show, the accolades soon rolled in:
“There is no reason Australia can’t be competitive in Supercars.World class capability already exists in automotive design, engineering, development, testing and production. Unlike mass market vehicles, low production volumes, high labour costs, the “high dollar”, and a small domestic market are largely irrelevant.In the wake of decisions to leave Australia by the mass market automobile manufacturers, JOSS is an exciting Australian start-up with global appeal.” – Gavin Smith, President, Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd.
“The JOSS project shows innovation, engineering excellence and a true belief that Australia can compete on a global scale. We wish the team the best of luck and look forward to working with JOSS in utilising as many Australian suppliers and capability as possible.” – Richard Reilly, CEO, FAPM.
The JOSS JT1 was a 400bhp, alloy headed V8 powered vehicle, built around a steel space frame chassis and weighed 948kg. It rolled on ultra sticky and low profile 18 inch Pirelli tyres, had a Porsche five speed transaxle transmission and powered through to 100 km/h in three seconds on the way to covering the quarter mile in just 11.7 seconds. That test car has given the JOSS development team plenty to work with and the JP1 is intended to be further developed to comply with the U.K.’s small manufacturer compliance regulations; with an initial run of five vehicles to kick things off as a Track Special, (allowing the owners to sample the ability and agility of the JP1) the investments in these first five will then use the aforementioned U.K. regulations as a stepping stone to the European market.
Matt and the team are using the ever increasing in popularity crowd funding platform to complete the first JP1; the design specs and engineering parameters are locked away, it’s simply a matter of the requisite funds being found to complete the project and then further develop the JOSS JP1 into a road legal range of vehicles. A Wheel Thing is proud to be associated with this project and asks that you join this innovative Australian company on its journey to build a genuine Aussie Supercar.
For further details on the project: www.joss.com.au and to contribute to the project, click here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jossjp1/joss-jp1-supercar-a-new-innovative-performance-bra