Fittipaldi to focus on U.S. with supercar

- Fittipaldi Motors will target U.S. customers with its new $1.5 million supercar, says Emerson Fittipaldi, the Brazilian former race car driver who is fronting the project.

The lightweight two-seat EF7 GTR is the first car to be offered by the Coral Gables, Fla., company. The planned 39 examples will be track-only, but after that the company will explore making them road legal.

"The company is American. It's where I live. It's where my family lives. We want to concentrate on the U.S. market," Fittipaldi told Automotive News. He estimates around half will to go the U.S.

Deliveries are planned to begin next spring. The EF7 GTR was unveiled last month at the Geneva auto show.

There is no plan for a dealer network, a Fittipaldi Motors spokesman said, Interested buyers are expected to contact the company.

Fittipaldi made his name winning the Formula One championship in 1972 driving a Lotus and he said the British's team's obsession with reducing weight influenced the carbon-fiber bodied EF7.

The car weighs around 2,200 pounds and is powered by a 600-hp 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine.

The car and engine are being developed by Germany's HWA, which also partners with Daimler's AMG performance arm to build race cars. It was designed by Italy's Pininfarina.

"The inspiration is a shark." Fittipaldi said. "I love a shark. Pininfarina was able to translate that."<

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