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Old 10-15-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
Jeff B
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Default Quick review of Murtaya/STi kit car

(I am not sure if this is the right place to put this review, but I thought the NASIOC faithful would want to hear about this car. I will try to add a few photos at some point.)

A few weeks ago (9/26/09) I had the opportunity to test drive the Adrenaline Murtaya kit car with the company’s US importer, Will Corry. I had a great time and really enjoyed the car, and thought some of you might be interested in reading a quick review of this Subaru based kit car.

Keep in mind with this review, that Will had just gotten the car assembled a few days before I arrived in Durango, CO, so he wanted me to mention that his Murtaya was still not fully set up. (In fact, Will mentioned that I got the first Murtaya test drive in the United States.) None the less, I found the car to be very impressive and recommend that anyone who is interested in a sub 2300lb AWD sports car should check it out. I also found Will to be both a great guy and very knowledgeable on all subjects related to rally and AWD sports cars and want to wish him luck in bringing this car to America. Thanks Will!

One last thing. This is not a researched article, so while I will try to get my facts straight, I have not thoroughly checked them. Please do not blame Murtaya USA or Adrenaline for any mistakes that are my fault.

Links
Murtaya USA/ Will Corry
http://www.murtayausa.com/

Adrenaline/ Murtaya UK
http://www.adrenalinemotorsport.co.uk/


Site by US Murtaya enthusiast, Mike (last name?)
http://www.murtaya.com/



Basic Info and Initial Impressions

For those not familiar with the Murtaya, it is a two seat convertible kit car that is made in England. The brand name is Adrenaline, and was started by three auto engineers out of England. The car can use either a Subaru GC or a GD drivetrain, with anything from a NA engine to a built STI setup. Will is planning to race rallies and hill climbs with his, and his components are from a 2004 STi.

While looking on the websites had given me the impression that the Murtaya was tiny, in person it was a bit bigger than I expected. IMO, it is fairly close in size – but much better looking – to a BMW Z3 or a Mazda Miata. According to Will, the three Adrenaline founders range in size from 6’1” to 6’6”, so there was actually quite a bit more room inside the cabin than I expected. It is low, however, and the small and high doors do make it more difficult to get into than most other small sports cars. The only negative on the size is that the trunk/ boot is very small (and houses the battery) and will not allow much luggage at all.

While I thought the fit and finish of the car was very good, there are a few signs that may reveal its kit car nature. That said, the car has a lot of neat touches that (to me) made it look cooler than a production car. Things like the gas caps, hood locks and the interior finish all looked exceptionally good.

Overall, I found it to be a very good looking car. In fact, each time we stopped people would gather around the car and complement its looks – then ask “what is that thing.”


Power

No surprise, a car that dyno’s at approximately 330 whp and weighs less than 2300 lbs is going to be very fast. It was - probably just about as fast as anything I have every been in, including a few Ferraris, Lamborginis, Corvettes and Porsches (no, I have not yet owned any of the above cars). Despite this, the chassis seemed well capable of handling its power, no doubt helped by the awd. It also seemed that the car’s light weight made any lag just about unnoticeable, which was a big plus for passes on winding roads.


Handling

First, I have to mention that this car had just been put together, and had not had a full alignment, needed a rear sway bar and was riding on snow tires. Despite this, I found the car really enjoyable. While I am very critical of the handling of the GC and GD body Subarus, the Murtaya has a wonderful feel for the road. Despite the parts they have in common, the Murtaya’s steering wheel feedback is outstanding. You truly feel the road, whether you are pushing the car in the turns or are just going slowly through town. The road feel is so good that it makes the car really a pleasure to drive. Whether this is due to the light weight, the stiffer chassis (IIRC, 30% stiffer than a GD body Subaru) or the shorter wheelbase, I am not sure, but the overall setup works.

One thing I really like about this car is the Murtaya is designed to excel on real roads and in all conditions. While many sports cars work great at Autobahn speeds, fewer work as well on lower speed B roads. This is significant to me, because while driving Autobahn speeds will likely send you to jail in this country, it is much safer and less stressful to drive quickly on lower speed, turnier roads. According to Will, this is lower speed (say 30 to 80mph) is a major part of the design goal by the Adrenaline designers, and the car certainly felt great at these speeds – and a bit higher!

As far as the handling limits go, the Murtaya seemed extremely capable to me. While I did not push the car terribly hard, Will did a few times and the car really felt secure (again, despite its lack of suspension tuning). With some suspension tuning and time behind the wheel I am sure it would be a lot of fun to explore its limits.


Other

Murtayas can be had in left or right hand drive, and can be set up as road or track cars. Other options include hardtops, softtops, and roll cages.



That is about all I can think of for now. I will try answer questions if anyone has them.
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Last edited by Jeff B; 10-15-2009 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:19 PM   #2
Go Loud
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Interesting concept.
Too bad Subaru doesn't have a similar 2 seater convertible model on the showroom floor.
Being a rather small manufacturer I suspect what might be considered a rather limited overall demand from the public would be considered a pretty robust sales volume for them.

So are you going to buy/build one?
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:48 PM   #3
Shifty_Jack
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If this had been around in 06, i would never have bought my s2000
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:01 AM   #4
Calamity Jesus
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that 's, like, your
alternate facts, man.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Loud View Post
Interesting concept.
Too bad Subaru doesn't have a similar 2 seater convertible model on the showroom floor.
Being a rather small manufacturer I suspect what might be considered a rather limited overall demand from the public would be considered a pretty robust sales volume for them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty_Jack View Post
If this had been around in 06, i would never have bought my s2000
This is a tube framed kit car.. not like anything you're going to find inside a dealership.. nor with the warranty or refinement of a Honda. This is more of an alternative to an A/C Cobra kit than any unibody production car.

I'm not saying it isn't a good product.. but it's not something you cross-shop with a S2000 or like anything Subaru could build for production.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:33 AM   #5
Masterauto
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I like the SAKER http://www.saker.co.nz/
better but car is very expensive to the point of with just buy a GT-R or Porsche GT3 or even better wait for the Subaru 86B. I think the kit cars are DOA unless they can save over stock cars in this economy as no one will finance these cars.

Last edited by Masterauto; 10-18-2009 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:04 AM   #6
Siper2
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Looks like everyone who never got a Delfino Feroce, can finally be happy.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:01 PM   #7
Jeff B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go Loud View Post
So are you going to buy/build one?
I am definitely tempted. Careful shopping on donor parts could probably keep the costs below a new STI.

Quote:
This is a tube framed kit car.. not like anything you're going to find inside a dealership.. nor with the warranty or refinement of a Honda. This is more of an alternative to an A/C Cobra kit than any unibody production car.
Actually, the Murtaya uses a composite tub, not a full tube frame. It does use tubing on the front and (IIRC) the rear suspension mounts. EDIT - Mike let me know that the rear suspension mounts are built into the tub.

J

Last edited by Jeff B; 10-17-2009 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:27 PM   #8
Go Loud
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Still wish Subaru would come out with the general concept of a 2 seater convertible utilizing an STI style drivetrain.
Now that Honda quit production of the S2000 there might be some slack that needs to be taken up.
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:39 PM   #9
Hiryu
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Jeff--

Nice review; would you give permissions to post it on murtaya.com?

It's good to hear that Will got the U.S. Demo Murtaya together and is getting people in it--you really have to drive the car to realize what it can do.

Did you get any pictures? I've got this early (and scaled) image of the US Demo Murtaya from Neil (as Will had hoped, it's sporting a Porsche GT3 RS paint job and decals):



You didn't happen to see a certain black Murtaya while visiting, did you?

The Murtaya uses a spaceframe front (to which the engine and front suspension connect) bolted to a composite tub (the rear suspension bolts directly to the tub).

Mike P
www.murtaya.com
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
Jeff B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiryu View Post
Jeff--

Nice review; would you give permissions to post it on murtaya.com?

It's good to hear that Will got the U.S. Demo Murtaya together and is getting people in it--you really have to drive the car to realize what it can do.

Did you get any pictures? I've got this early (and scaled) image of the US Demo Murtaya from Neil (as Will had hoped, it's sporting a Porsche GT3 RS paint job and decals):

You didn't happen to see a certain black Murtaya while visiting, did you?

The Murtaya uses a spaceframe front (to which the engine and front suspension connect) bolted to a composite tub (the rear suspension bolts directly to the tub).

Mike P
www.murtaya.com

Mike, great to hear from you again (we have exchanged emails on your murtaya.com site). You are very welcome to post this review on your site, and no doubt, you have to drive the car to realize how different it is from its original Subaru base car. While I expected the performance to be great, I was really surprised at how much more fun it is to drive at both low and high speeds than an STI.

I do have a few pictures, although they are only with the car stopped. The car's orange/ GT3 RS paint job looks fantastic. I would be happy to send you any photos that I have, just let me know if you want them.

I was pressed for time and did not make it to Will's workshop, so I did not get a chance to see your black Murtaya.

Thanks for the correction on the rear suspension.

Talk to you soon,
Jeff
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