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MMM, MMM, GOOD!

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Jul 13, 2003

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

 

MMM, MMM, GOOD!

By HARVEY SCHWARTZ All Photos & text © by Harvey Schwartz

Have you ever dreamed of piloting your own GT racecar along empty stretches of highways at speed, then surgically cutting through the toughest twisting and curving roads? Well, you will soon be able to fulfill your fantasy in the upcoming Mosler MT900S and Photon that should soon be certified ‘street legal’ in all 50-states of America.

If you watch sports car racing in person or on TV you probably have seen the Mosler name because the ‘race track-ready’ version MT900R has been tearing up the tracks for the past several years while competing in the GT category of the Rolex Sports Car Series. The MT900R debuted at Grand-Am’s 2001 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona as fastest GT qualifier. In 2002 Prospective Racing’s MT900R entry was on the GT pole in 6 of 10 races. This year MT900Rs are also successfully competing in Europe, Australia and Asia. The MT900S and Photon road cars could be twins as they share exterior styling, powertrains, underpinnings, carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb tub, and chrome-moly front/rear subframes. Differences between the two versions include a Hewland 6-speed gearbox, lightweight BBS magnesium wheels, titanium springs, carbon fiber bucket seat, and carbon fiber bodywork for the MT900 Photon, while the MT900S version has fiberglass body panels, a Porsche 6-speed transaxle or optional Hewland, Sparco EVO bucket seats, and HRE cast aluminum wheels. The difference in price between the two is about $50,000.00 with the Photon priced at $209,000.00, and the Rosso Barchetta painted MT900S that I tested, starting at $159,000.00 Warren Mosler’s new MT900 sports coupe seems perfectly positioned to do for the Mosler carmaker’s reputation what the velvet glove did for the iron fist. Mosler’s bare-knuckled Consuliers, Intruders and Raptors were so dominant wherever they raced in the late ‘80s and ‘90s that they were banned from competition. Their road-going siblings have achieved collector status ever since. When Mosler and endurance racing legend Tommy Morrison teamed up in late 2000 to build the MT900, they gave themselves just three months to construct a racing version and only three years to prepare a fully certified road car. They have achieved their goal with the help of famed car designer Rod Tremme who used CAD-CAM computer programming to design the car. The initial run of cars will be built in Albany, Georgia-in the same facility where Morrison constructed championship Corvette and Camaro racecars through the ‘80s and ‘90s. A new, more modern 12,000sq.ft. facility will soon be used to manufacture both Photon models.

Let’s take a closer look at the Mosler MT900S and get to know what makes it one of the best performing sports car in the world. The exterior shape is very imposing with long, sleek and sexy racecar lines. All body panels are manufactured from the highest grade of fiberglass and carbon fiber, with the hood, rear deck, louvers and bumpers manufactured in-house by Mosler. The front is very low, enhancing downforce, and is highlighted with 4-high-intensity lamps and turn signals, a center air-intake and brake cooling intakes. The front brakes are further cooled down with heat extracting slits over the flared fenders. On top of the hood are a series of slits to further aid engine cooling. Mounted on the rear of the roof is an air intake channeling air directly to the LS6 V8 engine. The best view is from the side showing it’s low, sleek shape and deeply scalloped intakes. The S version comes with a choice of a CORSA or Borla free- flowing exhaust system, which add approximately 25hp to the LS6 engine. On the S version massive amounts of air is channeled into the engine through the deep side intakes into filters to stop any water from entering. The air is then channeled via twin tubes, to a Mosler custom built carbon fiber air box that sits in front of the engine’s intake. The rear fascia gets Corvette quad-oval lamps, and centered just below are 4-large, round exhaust tips. The big carbon fiber fixed wing is a $6,000.00 option and looks great on the rear of the car. Completing all of the great racecar looks are high-performing Pirelli P Zero tires, P255/40ZR19in. up front, and P295/40ZR20in. tires in the rear. These great performing tires are wrapped around beautiful HRE 19X10in. front, and 20X11in. rear, 5-spoke, cast aluminum wheels.

Under the skin is an aerospace-inspired, composite monocoque of carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb Tub, manufactured by Teklam Inc. of California. A GM ‘factory crate’ LS6 V8 engine, with Mosler custom manufactured headers, is mounted midship and rated at 435hp at 6,150rpm and 362lb.ft. of torque at 6,150rpm. The torque is transferred to the rear wheels via the smooth and quick shifting Porsche 6-speed transaxle taken from the 911, or the optional Hewland sequential 6-speed shifter that is standard on the Photon. The suspension is a racecar bred, double-wishbone setup front and rear. It is highlighted up front with individual, unequal-length control arms, two-way adjustable coil-over Penske shocks and adjustable roll bar, while the rear features individual, unequal-length control arms with a toe control link, two-way adjustable coil-over Penske shocks and adjustable roll bar. Braking is excellent with a choice of 13in.Wilwood or Brembo vented/slotted rotors at each wheel and clamped with 6-piston calipers up front, and 4-piston calipers in the rear. The brake bias can be changed by simply twisting a knob in the cockpit. No ABS is available. You enter the cockpit by easy opening Ford GT40 like scissor doors. Watch your head as you have to negotiate a large sill to drop into the deeply cut Sparco EVO bucket seats that are very comfortable. Once you are in place, the cockpit feels quite roomy for an exotic car, and you’ll quickly notice lots of carbon fiber on the dashboard and center console. The instrument cluster is straight ahead and easy to see through the tilting, MOMO leather wrapped steering wheel. The instrument cluster features a big, centered, 8,000rpm tachometer with LED readouts just below for mph, oil pressure, engine temperature and fuel on board. Bright LED lights warn of any system failure. Just to the right is a carbon fiber box-shaped stack with aluminum faced lettering and slide controls for the powerful AC/Heater and air-flow direction through the 4-interior air-ducts. Light controls and wiper blade speed control stalks are mounted on the steering column. Other amenities include thick carpeting, power windows/door locks taken from the C5 Corvette, a Sony AN-FM Audio System, and an interior light. Similar to the GT40 scissor doors, the rear section easily lifts up with pneumatic shocks to reveal a storage space of about 7.9cu.ft.

Vision from the front is excellent but the rear vision through the carbon fiber louvers is horrible. Taking care of this potential problem are large, aero-styled, power-remote controlled, dual-side mirrors taken from the C-5 Corvette that give excellent visibility of the rear from the sides. Buckle up the standard 3-point safety belts, (4 and 5-point belts are optional), and get ready for the ride of your life. Turn the ignition key on and the quad- exhausts give the Mosler the sound of an extremely angry Corvette, but sweet music to the ears of the enthusiast. Once you get used to the tempermental racecar like clutch, the Porsche 6-speed or Hewland gearbox makes the Mosler MT900S fun to drive. The rack & pinion steering system makes handling the Mosler MT900S easy but stay aware at all times. Power is immediate, pinning you back into the seat each time you up-shift. Weighing just 2200lbs. without fuel, Mosler say’s that the MT900S will get to 60mph from a standstill in a heartbeat-quickening 3.2sec., and speed through the 1/4mi. in just 11.22sec. at 124.60mph. The Mosler MT900S does 0-100mph-0 in 10.98sec., and the standing mile in 31sec. at 153.2sec. Braking is also incredible with 60mph to 0 in just 100ft. and 100mph to 0 in just 275ft. These are all racecar type specs and make this road going sports car very special indeed. Handling is razor sharp and in evidence with an incredible speed of 74.7mph through the 600ft. slalom course. Top speed for the MT900S is 165mph. On the racetrack the Mosler MT900S exhibits loads of grip, yet has enough thrust to get sideways on the exit of most corners, and the big brakes work very well to quickly slow the car as you approach each turn. On the road the Mosler MT900S ride is firm but not harsh or bone jarring, even though the car is geared more toward ‘weekend-warrior’ track use so I would recommend that you have another vehicle for your daily driving needs. The razor sharp response also means this is not a car for the ‘wrist-steerer’, talking on the cell phone. You need to keep all your attention at the task at hand, keeping the Mosler on the road, especially when you are in traffic.

The new Mosler MT900S is a fantastic high-performing sports car, fun and very exciting to drive. Morrison and Mosler have 50-years of specialty car building experience between them. Their common bond: a fetish for weight reduction in the crusade for maximum performance and endurance. They have accomplished their goal. Questions and Ordering Information, please contact Corvette Mike by phone at 714-630-0700, fax 714-630-0777 or by e-mail to www.corvettemike.com

For more photos from Harvey Schwartz please visit www.autofotos.com COPYRIGHT:2003:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

Engine: Chevy Corvette LS6, all-aluminum OHV V8 Displacement: 346cu.in./5665cc. Drive configuration: mid-engine, rear-wheel drive Body: advanced composite carbon fiber/honeycomb tub Length: 189in. Width: 79in. Height: 43.5in. S/42.25in. Race ready Photon Weight: 2200lbs. S/1980lbs. race ready Photon Weight distribution: 38.5% front/61.5% rear Fuel capacity: 21 gallons S/26.4 gallons race ready Photon Warranty: 24-months/24,000 mile limited factory backed warranty

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