- ABOUT US _ Drive is an Automotive Design Consultancy building long term relationships with design-driven companies worldwide, designing products that enhance their brand's DNA and position in the market place.
Zenos Cars first hit the headlines in 2014, launching their brand with the E10 show car. This concept marked the culmination of an intense design and development period in which Drive Design and Zenos worked hand-in-hand to lay down the foundation for not just a “lightweight, affordable, fun to drive” road legal track focused vehicle, but a new range of thrilling and accessible sports cars.
The roots of the E10S can be traced back to the summer of 2012, when Zenos management approached Drive Design with plans to build a completely new British sports car brand around a mid-engined, carbon-tubbed car priced at less than £25K. At that point founders Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards had a unique market proposition and a few key words that would define their brand. Drive Design had to create a design language that would embody all of their aspirations.
One of the main challenges during the initial design process was achieving the delicate balance between a friendly, approachable look in keeping with Zenos’ brand values while also communicating to the customer that it’s a thrilling, lightweight trackday car. With affordability in mind, Drive wanted to highlight the innovation of the carbon composite material and reflect the intelligence of the styling, with the break up of panels, wings and tub allowing ease of production and lower repair costs compared to the single clam mouldings used on competitor products.
The public’s response to the car’s design can be measured by the fact that 40 deposits were taken from customers before they had even seen it run. This justification of the product, only raised the pressure to deliver on their promise to have the production model ready for January 2015. Drive and Zenos launched into a rapid productionisation phase sensitive to the fact that the car’s appearance couldn’t alter significantly, though taking the opportunity to tune the car’s character and balance. This phase involved working with suppliers on feasibility whilst ensuring manufacturing costs were kept on target keeping to the business plan and budget. The secret of the E10’s affordability relative to its performance, is off-the-shelf Ford components including engine, gearbox, and brakes with an innovative composite tub made from recycled carbon fibre that offers 70 per cent of the lightness and stiffness of pure carbon-fibre for a tenth of the cost.
The interior is another area where careful thought went into the design, built around the ideal driving positon, the quality of the panels and fit had to exceed what would be expected at the cars price point. This approach has seen Zenos Cars has take more than 110 deposits, first year production run being 200, with a deliveries scheduled for March. For Zenos’s founders Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, the E10 represents the culmination of a dream. For Drive Design, it provides a mobile showcase for its design strategies and a shop window for carmakers – large and small – searching for the kind of collaborative, ground-up design approach that only Drive can deliver.
The Zenos E10 project is the essence of what we do at Drive. We extract the DNA of a company and express it as a tangible product. We tell a story.