Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lobini H1: have you ever met this Brazilian sports car?

Brazil has a long tradition of hand-made sports cars, due to the import prohibition that the country faced for almost 20 years. Since automakers did not produce them, and people were not able to buy the ones that were sold abroad, they started working on their own. When imports where once again legal, most of the small sports car manufacturers disappeared. Lobini is one of the few that have been created exactly after the competition with foreign cars was allowed. And it is doing pretty good with its first product, the H1, intended to face other competitors not only in Brazil, but all over the world.

Initial plans were to sell it to the USA and to the UK, but the Brazilian currency value is not at its best rate for exports, so Lobini’s executives will wait a little longer to sell the car abroad and to improve its production. Meanwhile, all the H1 production will be absorbed by Brazilian customers, at least the ones that can afford to buy one. The Lobini H1 costs R$ 170,000, almost US$ 96,000. Most carmakers in Brazil blame taxes for the stratospheric prices, so the H1 could cost a lot less in foreign countries.

The H1 is a mid-engine rear wheel drive car with scissor doors and independent suspension in all wheels. It is 3.72 m long, 1.18 m high and 1.80 m wide, with a short wheelbase (2.40 m), what turns it into a car for experienced drivers, especially considering its AUQ 1.8 T engine, the same one used in the former generation of the Audi A3, capable of delivering 180 bhp. The low weight (1,030 kg) gives the car good performance numbers: maximum speed of 240 km/h and a time below 6 s to reach 100 km/h from immobility.

To reinforce is sportive aura, Lobini has managed to place H1 as the pace car for the Brazilian GT3, the best way to put the car in touch with the Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari vehicles it will some day meet in American and European roads. Most probably sooner than we can imagine.

Related entries:
Tropical Renault Alpine: The Interlagos
Fiat Presents "New" Stilo in Brazil
Renault Sandero Launched in Brazil


Post a Comment