We are not car engineers but we know for sure there’s a very simple recipe for a successful sports car. Combine low weight with high power - that’s the rough formula. And to make things even better, you build a small car, put a stiff suspension on it, and paint it in red. Yup, we are describing a certain vehicle here.
Many of you probably have never heard about the Tom’s Angel T01. It’s a rare sports car that was built in the first half of 1990. Well, rare is not really the correct word here since there is just a single prototype made from the model. And it’s still alive and kicking, as this new video shows.
The 5:16-minute clip takes us to the 2020 Showa Retro Car Expo, an annual event held in Osaka, where the WasabiCars channel on YouTube filmed this very rare bird. The original plan for the car, which was designed and built by Tom’s in Great Britain, was for a short production run of approximately 500 units. Unfortunately, “the financial realities of the time” put a quick end to the project.
It’s not that easy to find reliable information about the Angel T01 but from what we know about it, it has a body made of carbon and an FRP monocoque upon a steel subframe. The suspension uses a double-wishbone layout all around and power comes from a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 156 bhp (116 kilowatts). It was mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, sending power to the rear wheels. But that was back in 1994.
Currently, the car uses a modified and modernised version of the engine with different components in the induction system. There are no details about how much power the car has with the new engine but even if it stays at the same level as the original, it’s more than enough for a car that weighs just 780 kilograms (1,720 pounds).