Canadian-made supercar shuns modesty – Metro US

Canadian-made supercar shuns modesty

Two Canadian vehicles made news this month.

The “electric” Olympia ice-resurfacing machine, made in Ontario, was the subject of much discussion, after experiencing technical difficulties at the Vancouver Olympics. It apparently missed the memo about “Owning the Podium.”

The other Canadian vehicle that had people talking was the HTT Plethore LC-750. Its appearance at the recent Toronto auto show marked the first time the supercar was shown at a Canadian event in “production ready” trim.

The Plethore is definitely better looking than the Olympia — and faster.

Apparently, the LC-750, which packs a 705-hp supercharged 6.2-litre V8, “can easily reach speeds of more than 340 km/h.” A 1,300 hp version aims to break the speed record by a production car currently established at 412 km/h.

If all this sounds very un-modest and therefore un-Canadian, it is, and for that we should all sigh, “Hallelujah.”

A “dare to dream” thing like this doesn’t happen much anywhere, and particularly in Canada, without single-minded passion. The man with the passion and drive and imagination is Luc Chartrand, who started the Plethore project more than 10 years ago.

“Luc is the founder of the company (HTT Technologies), and the designer and engineer behind the project,” says company president, Sebastien Forest. “He basically started from scratch.” He considers Luc “an artist,” an artist that just happens to work with the automotive form.

Luc’s vision started with a central driving position, like any racecar. Two passengers can come along for the ride, in seats that flank each side of the driver’s seat.

Both its chassis and bodywork are rendered in carbon fibre. Needless to say, this makes the car both increadibly rigid and incredibly light.

The sticker price on LC-750 is $395,000. Only eight will be produced this year, starting in October. Six are already sold. If all goes according to plan, 25 will be built the following year. (Never more than 50 per year after that.)

An undisclosed U.S. firm has developed the engine, from the same engine block found in the Z1 Corvette. The brakes and wheels are sourced from the U.K. Other than that, the Plethora is virtually “all Canadian.”

HTT focuses on development and final assembly. The area around HTT’s headquarters in St-Eustache, Que., is not only blessed with a high-speed test track, but also world-class fabricators, because they sprang up to help Bombardier build all those airplanes.

When you hear “Buy Canadian” they’re usually talking about peaches or potatoes. How cool is it to now add a supercar to the “Made in Canada” list?

– Michael Goetz has been writing about cars and editing automotive publications for more than 20 years. He lives in Toronto with his family and a neglected 1967 Jaguar E-type.

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