A New Zealand Supercar Unveiled

A New Zealand Supercar Unveiled

A New Zealand Supercar Unveiled

Invited guests were the first to see a New Zealand supercar at the University’s Great Hall today.

For the last two years the Hulme supercar has been developed in secrecy, but now Hulme Supercars Limited is ready to show the world what it has been creating.

DSC_0024Launch photo

Named in honour of New Zealand’s only Formula One World Champion Denny Hulme the Hulme supercar is a jaw-dropping racing machine designed for road use.

The public’s first chance to see the Hulme supercar will be at the ‘2 Hot 2 Handle’ motor show to be held at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium from 26-27 March. A launch in Auckland will be held on March 31.

Coordinating the design team is Tony Parker, Professor and head of the University’s Industrial Design department.

“New Zealand has established a reputation for building the best yachts in the world. I believe we also have the technical capabilities and the industrial infrastructure to create a quality, hand-built performance car,’’ says Mr Parker.

At the unveiling Greeta Hulme said that her late husband would have been “really chuffed” with the spectacular design.

The concept of the Hulme supercar is a mid-engine design with a high-tech powertrain and chassis that gives the driver the feeling of driving a Formula One car on the road. The car features a modified BMW M5 engine joined to a specially designed transaxle, wrapped in a carbon fibre body.

Hulme Supercars Limited plans to produce a number of cars for certification purposes, with production to start in 2007.

They will then produce 25 cars a year. A minimum of 150 will be built.

A UK list price of £310 000 has been set.

The idea for a Kiwi-made supercar first came to Auckland entrepreneur Jock Freemantle, who approached Mr Parker in 2002 to co-ordinate the design team.

Tony Parker has been passionate about cars since he was a boy. For many years he indulged his enthusiasm by sketching car designs during weekends. It was only in 2003 when he met Jock Freemantle, fellow car enthusiast and serial entrepreneur, that he began to see how far his hobby might go. Together Jock and Tony not only improved the design, they also developed the dream of recapturing New Zealand's leading position in car design that was lost overseas in the late 70s.

Jock formed Hulme Supercars Ltd with financial backing from a global network of angel investors. Now, two years on, Tony's design has been transformed from paper plans to a revolutionary supercar constructed of the finest lightweight materials. The design captures the essence of Formula One for ordinary road users – albeit wealthy ones.

Massey University is supporting the events, which will raise the funds necessary to complete the development path to market. But this is only the first of what is planned to be a long series of world-beating car designs emerging from New Zealand. This vision will be achieved by consistent and significant reinvestment in the knowledge base in New Zealand – enter Massey University. Hulme Supercars Ltd has committed to reinvest a percentage of all profits in the School of Transport Design at the Wellington campus.

Professor Nigel Long (Assistant Vice-Chancellor - Research) says, "It's a great example of what can be achieved when academic expertise is matched by entrepreneurial drive and enthusiasm. This is an innovative partnership whose value in the long term lies with the critical mass of funded scholarships which not only create knowledge but also maintain it within New Zealand."

Also speaking at the unveiling was Charles W. “Chuck” Pelly.

Mr Pelly is a leading American industrial designer. He has worked on everything from go-karts, racing cars, snowmobiles, farm equipment, catamarans and vehicles for GM, Chrysler, American Motors, Mazda, Subaru and BMW.

“ New Zealanders are true leaders in innovation and design, We’ve seen that in the yacht industry and now we have a New Zealand design and built car to compete against the best,” he says.

Mr Pelly is the founder and former President of Designworks/USA, which he grew from a staff of three to one of the world’s best industrial design offices and BMW’s U.S. design studio. Under Mr Pelly’s leadership, in 1998 Designworks/USA was rated one of the Top 10 World’s Best Industrial Design Offices, by D.C. Groupe in Frankfurt, Germany. Mr Pelly is now a consultant with Pelly Design Management, serving as a corporate strategist on design and creative development. 

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