Prodrive creates P2
Going from concept to reality in just nine months, the Prodrive Subaru-based coupe is a fully working car and could be manufactured to retail at around £40,000. P2 is features Prodrive’s latest technology and has been entirely designed, engineered and built by the motorsport and automotive specialist at its operations at Banbury and Warwick in the UK.
P2 was the idea of Prodrive chairman and chief executive, David Richards, who wanted to create something that used the skills of every part of the business and demonstrated the company’s capabilities.
Prodrive’s philosophy behind the design of the car was practical performance. Weighing just 1100 kg and with a power to weight ratio of more than 350 bhp/tonne, P2 is expected to reach 100 kph from standstill in under four seconds and carry on to 280 kph. Yet, despite the focus on weight reduction, P2 has all the comforts of any modern car, with a six speaker stereo system, power assisted steering and electric windows.
P2 uses a modified Subaru Impreza STi engine and all wheel drivetrain, which incorporate two of Prodrive’s innovative technologies to enhance performance – ALS (Anti-Lag System) and ATD (Active Torque Dynamics).
The two-litre flat-four engine is fitted with Prodrive’s ALS . This has been derived from the same system currently used on the Prodrive-designed Subaru World Rally Car, but modified for use on the road. ALS can keep the turbo on boost at low engine speeds, giving the car immediate throttle response and improved performance by using more of the engine’s 575 Nm of torque throughout the rev range.
To use this power more effectively, Prodrive’s ATD system is fitted to P2’s drivetrain. It uses an active centre and active rear differential to control the torque split between the front and rear of the car and across the rear axle to optimise the car’s handling characteristics. For example, should the car begin to understeer while on power, then more torque will be pushed to the rear wheels, while if it began to oversteer then drive is sent to the front of the car, balancing it in all situations.
P2’s exterior and interior styling were created by Peter Stevens, who has worked with Prodrive on numerous road car and motorsport projects. His team produced a full scale clay model of the car to develop the styling and from this P2’s composite body panels were formed.
The P2 chassis was originally based on a Subaru R1 (a four seat mini car), which was completely reengineered to give P2 its coupe styling and to accommodate the new engine and drivetrain.
Every part of Prodrive has been involved in the development of P2 from its motorsport and automotive technology divisions. Prodrive’s chassis, engine and drivetrain and electronics departments worked with its in-house manufacturing operation to produce the specialist parts and electronic systems. The company also called on the skills of a number of its partners to provide additional complementary technical expertise and specialist components, such as wheels, brakes and lighting.
While P2 is a fully working car, Prodrive itself currently has no plans to put it into volume production. However, should a vehicle manufacturer approach the company to do so, it is expected that it would have a retail price of approximately £40,000.
Text: Classic Driver
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