This Small-Block Powered Roller Skate Made Every Car Feel Slow

By -

exocet-xp5-v8-17

I’ve driven lots of fast cars in my career as an auto writer. From Lamborghinis and GT-Rs to modified Camaros and barely street-legal tuner cars, I’ve buried speedometer needles squarely in the “arrested forever” range. But none of those cars feel fast anymore. Thanks to one small company in Atlanta, I’m not sure I can ever drive a road car that will really “feel fast” ever again.

The company is called Exomotive, and they create what is essentially a giant roller skate with a motor in it called the Exocet. It’s a tube-frame chassis car like the Ariel Atom, but it’s based on the underpinnings of a Miata. And since you can put a V8 in a Miata, you can put a V8 in the Exocet. Let me give you some numbers.

This particular Exocet is call the XP5 (for experimental vehicle 5) and it’s powered by an LS3 that has been cammed to bump output to 525 horsepower. The whole machine weighs about 1700 pounds, giving it a ratio of 3.23 pounds per pony. That’s better than a Bugatti Veyron, or the McLaren P1, or almost any other supercar on sale. It also managed to pull 1.35g on the skidpad. To put that into perspective, Car and Driver only managed a 1.08 with a 2016 911 GT3 RS. Did I mention the Exocet is only wearing 205 section-width rubber? In every way, and in every dimension, this V8 Exocet is the fastest thing I’ve ever driven.

exocet-xp5-v8-5

Hell, thanks to its hilariously long gearing, it’s theoretical top speed is over 300 mph even if aerodynamic physics will stop it WAY before that. I’d give you some 0-60 numbers but the car didn’t have a speedo when I drove it, just a tach. Even with a speedo, it would still be hard to try and measure without some help. With so much power and such little weight, this is never a car that you cruise in. Every second behind the wheel demands your attention. I really don’t want to attempt running a stop watch while driving it. It doesn’t matter how fast you are going, or what gear you’re in, if you dip into the throttle too deeply you can spin-up the rear tires.

I think Richard Hammond said it best in the first episode of The Grand Tour, “Some poo came out.”

If you can get the tires to hook, 60 should show up well before 4 seconds, and the only reason it takes that long is because first gear is only good until 53mph. But numbers really are irrelevant in this scenario, regardless of how impressive they are. The Exocet XP5 is about an experience, not a pile of statistics. It’s completely open, and you sit so low to the ground that it makes a Camry look like an F-350 on the highway. It feels dangerous in a good way, like a motorcycle. You are constantly aware that you are mere inches from a catastrophic accident, and it makes the adrenaline pump hard. When you drop a cog on the T56 manual and listen to that mighty American V8 bark, the feeling only intensifies. Every moment in the XP5 made my heart race.

exocet-xp5-v8-18

It was one of the best driving experiences I have ever had in my life, and it is one of the few cars in existence that I still think about and desire. It’s been months since I was in that metal Kirkey seat staring at that big LS3 sitting inches in front of my feet, and I still think about it almost daily. I talk about it at least once a week. It has burrowed itself deep into my brain and no amount of exotic machinery can remove it. Just a few weeks after the Exocet went back to Atlanta, I found myself sitting in a V10 Lamborghini Gallardo, and it might as well have been a Prius for how slow it felt in comparison. I’m a ruined man.

I’ve never been able to drive an AC Cobra, but this has to be a similar experience. A car that feels way to small and light with a V8 that feels way to big and powerful. It is a big middle-finger to safety, logic, physics and supercars. I don’t need a million dollars and a machine made in Italy to be the fastest man in the land. I just need a Chevy small block and a bit of tube frame.

Did I mention that you can get one of these completely built and turn-key ready for about $75,000? And that is with the supercharged LSA motor from the Camaro ZL1.

So let’s recap. It’s fast enough to rewrite how your brain and body experience speed, it will outhandle almost anything that is road legal, and it’s cheaper than a nice Corvette.

God Bless America.

Comments ()