This Quebec-built, Hayabusa-powered track car can be yours for $145,000

Magnum Cars has an illustrious, spontaneous, if rather unknown history (for those of us on the lower end of the age scale) building Formula V and Formula Ford race cars. From MkI to MkIV, Magnum open-wheel racers have been a force to be reckoned with.

Now, Bruno St-Jacques, son of the company’s ingenious founder, has brought the manufacturer back to life and has his targets squarely aimed at the street legal, track day niche.

Powered by a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine delivering between 220 and 250 hp (depending on state of tune), this push-rod suspended racer can be yours for approximately $145,000 CAD ($139,000 USD).

Thanks to its light weight, the MK5 delivers 460 hp per ton and will achieve the 0-100 km/h sprint in “the low 3-second range”.

The MK5 is available for pre-order now (only 20 will be made each year) with deliveries in about a year.

Full press release and images below.


The Magnum MK5 officially unveiled.
The first track-focused street-legal lightweight supercar from Canada promises to be addictive.

MONTREAL, Que. – Created from a passion for motorsport in the late 60s, when original founder Jean-Pierre St-Jacques built Magnum’s first formula racecar, Magnum Cars is now entering the lightweight supercar segment with the introduction of the MK5. The brainchild of his son Bruno St-Jacques, himself a well-rounded and successful racecar driver, the Magnum MK5 aims to offer an incredible driving experience; the closest that most will get to experiencing a real racecar.

Featuring impressive power-to-weight ratio of 460 bhp per ton, amazing handling with cornering forces of over 2Gs, second-to-none build quality and cutting edge design, the Magnum MK5 strives on offering the ultimate excitement for all the senses, so that both driver and passenger can both enjoy the true feeling of a pure and exhilarating car. Having recently completed its development program, including 3 years of extensive track testing, the Magnum MK5 is now ready to be unveiled to car enthusiasts around the globe.

Exhilarating Performance & Bold Design

At the heart of the Magnum MK5 is a 250hp rear mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine that commands respect as the revs blast up to its chill inducing 11,000 rpm redline. Whether you want to tackle the track or enjoy the road, the intoxicating power delivery and high-revs, combined with the drivability and reliability of the lightweight powerplant, will suit different driving styles and moods.

The 6 speed sequential gearbox allows for lightning-fast shifts, up and down, while the perfectly positioned center-mounted shifter lever provides a level of involvement for the driver. Combined with a limited-slip differential, the Magnum MK5 provides remarkable acceleration, sprinting from 0-to-100 km/h in the low 3-second range.

Power numbers aside, the performance quality of the MK5 benefits from a well-balanced formula racecar type pushrod suspension geometry, with inboard 2-way adjustable dampers, front and rear. The unequal double a-arm suspension works in harmony with ultra-high performance street-legal tires (225/40R18 front, 265/35R18 rear), mounted on 18-inch ultra-lightweight alloy wheels, to convey agility and predictability. Aided by its 1,200 lbs (545kg) featherweight, the MK5 can achieve racecar level cornering grip.

Braking performance is as impressive, as front and rear 4-pistons calipers and vented brake discs offer a decisive bite, yet smooth brake pedal modulation. The ingenious sliding pedal box, completely custom machined out of aircraft-grade billet aluminum, provides easy adjustability from a simple locking lever, to accommodate drivers of different heights without tools.

The menacing look of the Magnum MK5 styling has been optimized to be equally striking and efficient. Displaying functional aerodynamics like those found on Formula 1 and LeMans Prototypes, the light and strong carbon fiber composite bodywork of the MK5 provides a confident dose of downforce to help maximize performance. Developed with modularity in mind, maintenance is facilitated and repair costs reduced as bodywork sections can be easily removed or individually replaced.

The Magnum MK5′s exterior styling extends into the cockpit where a modern look mixes with purposeful ergonomics. Designer-worthy CNC machined aluminum levers fall right in place, blending nicely with the race-inspired carbon fiber seats. Both driver and passenger are secured by 6-point racing harnesses. Great attention to details contributes to controls that are intuitive, while easy-to-read backlit digital gauges, with built-in GPS-enabled laptimer, are mounted directly onto the removable suede-wrapped steering wheel.

A Philosophy of Innovation, Performance and Excellence

“When we decided to get back to our roots of building cars, we agreed that the newest Magnum had to be exciting in every sense. Our racing background dictated the philosophy behind the MK5; our main objective has been to achieve an experience that is pure and as close to driving a true racecar, in a simple to use and easy to drive platform.” Says CTO and President Bruno St-Jacques.

The purpose has evolved but the philosophy remains the same. The “St-Jacques” meticulous attention to details and the high level of craftsmanship can be seen in every aspect of the Magnum MK5. Beautiful and well-thought out components that have been precision CNC-machined out of aircraft grade aluminum are displayed like well-hidden art pieces. Benefitting from Magnum’s immense expertise in machining components for different fields, including motorsport, for well over 45 years, the car is as beautiful under its skin as it is on the outside.

Bruno St-Jacque is quick to emphasize: “We only work with the best people in the business and we source only the best components. We are driven by excellence and believe it is of the utmost importance to offer our customers a product that does not compromise on quality, performance or safety. We pride ourselves on offering a high-end product that surpasses expectations.”

Delivering Awesomeness

Privately shown to interested parties within the last few months, the Magnum MK5 has already raised attention, from its very competitive on-track performance and its out-of-the-box styling. With pre-orders already taken, Magnum MK5′s will be built on order, at an initial annual production rate of 20 cars.

The first 10 cars to be delivered will be part of a special program called the Elite 10. Deliveries are projected to start by late 2014.

The Magnum MK5 price will start at $139,000 USD (excluding taxes and delivery). The base price includes many features like carbon-fiber bodywork and seats, removable racing steering wheel, data-logger system, cockpit adjustable brake bias, rear-view camera & monitor, 6-point racing harnesses, fully adjustable racing dampers and anti-roll bars, ultra-high performance tires, 18-inch ultra-lightweight alloy wheels, and limited-slip differential.

Optional features will also be offered so that MK5 owners can personalize their car. Available options will include different engine power levels, personalized bodywork colors, different lighting packages, as well as various street and track-pack accessories.

The MK5 is available in pre-order as of today, October 30, 2013.

Specifications

PERFORMANCE
0-60 MPH : Low 3-second range
Power-to-weight ratio : 460 bhp per ton
Maximum speed : 240 km/h
Handling : Over 2Gs of lateral force

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type : 4-Cylinder
Power : 250 bhp
Redline : 11,000 rpm
Configuration : Rear mid-mounted, rear wheel drive
Transmission : 6-speed sequential gearbox, with reverse
Differential : Limited-slip

CAR SPECS
Bodywork : Carbon-fiber composite. Easily removable front and rear sections.
Functional aerodynamics : Internal front wing, front splitter, flat underbody, rear diffuser
Cargo area : Fits two helmets and a briefcase
Fuel tank capacity : 35 liters
Fuel filler : Lockable billet aluminum
Length : 3,914 mm (154.1 in)
Width : 1,884 mm (74.2 in)
Height : 1,069 mm (42.1 in)
Dry Weight : 1,200 lbs (545 kg)

SUSPENSION
Type : Adjustable pushrod activated, double unequal length a-arms, front & rear
Dampers : Inboard, two-way adjustable, front & rear
Anti-roll bars : Adjustable, front & rear

WHEELS & BRAKES
Tires : Ultra-high performance, road-legal, 225/40R18 front & 265/35R18 rear
Wheels : 18″, ultra-light alloy, front & rear
Brake calipers : 4-piston calipers, radial mount, front & rear
Brake discs : Ventilated discs, with CNC-machined aluminum hubs, front & rear
Brake bias : Cockpit adjustable
Pedal box : Custom CNC-machined hand operated sliding adjustable

INTERIOR
Gauges : Steering wheel mounted backlit digital dash-display, with integrated laptimer and data acquisition system
Steering wheel : Weather resistant suede, with quick release
Seats : Carbon fiber composites
Harness : 6-point, racing-type
Accessory : Rear-view monitor & camera

About Magnum | A History of Success

Created in 1968, Magnum Cars has made a name for itself in the motorsport world building open-wheel formula cars. Magnum racecars have been driven to success by several different drivers, including Formula 1 legend-to-be Gilles Villeneuve.

For more than four decades, Magnum’s expertise has also been applied to developing and fabricating specialized parts for many kinds of vehicles from all levels of racing. With an impeccable reputation for precision work, original founder Jean-Pierre St-Jacques and the Magnum team were highly regarded even by numerous Formula 1 teams, working with the likes of Lotus, AGS, Larousse, Williams, and Renault, to name a few, during the Canadian F1 GP weekends over the years.

Today, Magnum is making a statement with its latest project. With well-rounded and successful race car driver Bruno St-Jacques now at the helm, Magnum is entering a new segment of the specialized automotive world with a strong vision and focus: to offer an awesome driving experience and innovate in the lightweight supercar category using the latest technologies, techniques and material, bold styling and forward thinking mindset to pioneer a refined and innovative driving platform.




About Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson is a former IT professional turned freelance automotive writer and news editor for Autos.ca. He's a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and former member of the Texas Automotive Writers Association (TAWA). Mark spends an inordinate amount of time on motorcycles and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia with his two dogs - Nismo and Maloo. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.