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Le Mans racer for the road

Road racer: Mirabeau is powered by a supercharged 4.7-litre V8 from Swedish supercar-maker Koenigsegg.

Swiss car-maker builds a million-dollar street-legal 370km/h road rocket

29 May 2009

ONE of the more remarkable supercars to catch our attention in recent times is a super-light sports racer built by Swiss company Leblanc Cars that is, incredibly, able to be registered for street use.

The Leblanc Mirabeau – named after a corner on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit – is a barely concealed racing car designed to meet the regulations for the classic Le Mans 24 Hour race while also being able to be driven on the road.

It is powered by the 4.7-litre supercharged and intercooled aluminium V8 from Swedish supercar company Koenigsegg, which in the Mirabeau produces “more than 700 horsepower” (522kW) and “more than 850Nm” of torque, with a redline of 7600rpm.

Transmission choices are the strong Italian-built Cima six-speed sequential manual used by Koenigsegg, which has an internal oil pump and an external radiator, or a $A92,000 semi-automatic.

138 center imageAlthough Leblanc is coy about performance figures, a top speed of about 370km/h is quoted, which would match the McLaren F1 supercar and be beaten only by the 388km/h Koenigsegg CCR (which is cranked up to produce more power) and the 407km/h Bugatti Veyron, in the production car ranks.

Leblanc’s only other model is quaintly named the Caroline with a 382kW 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, but it is a seriously quick coupe, having been timed from 0-100km/h in just 2.7 seconds – second only to the Porche-based Dauer 962 in supercar folklore.

Despite its turbocharged V8 engine, the real secret to the Mirabeau’s performance is its light weight, thanks to its lack of creature comforts and exotic chassis and bodywork materials such as carbon-fibre and Kevlar.

It weighs just 812kg, which is just below the Le Mans LMP2 class limit of 825kg (and much less than the 925kg limit for Audi’s and Peugeot’s outright contenders). It is also a match for the classic Le Mans-winning Porsche 956 of the 1980s.

Compare that other road-going supercars and you get a clearer picture because the Mirabeau is half the weight of a Veyron and even 570kg lighter than a Ferrari Enzo.

Of course, the Leblanc Mirabeau does not come cheap – €543,000 ($A965,000), plus local taxes – but how many other million-dollar supercars can you take to Le Mans?

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