Anyone with the cojones to launch a new car in this day and age has our utmost respect. It's a fool's errand, but we'll give them points for gumption. But crowdsourcing a supercar that's ran out of development cash? That just reeks of desperation.
The car in question is the JP1 from Joss Developments, and they've launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $480,000 AUD, or around $450k U.S. dollars to help bring one of five cars to market.
It sounds compelling – just like every other stillborn supercar – with a carbon composite body, an innovative transmission, and a 5.0-liter V8 mounted amidships putting out 560 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Joss claims a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds and a 211 mph top speed, and they've got a development mule that's undergone testing. But now comes the hard part.
The Kickstarter aims to raise cash for "final engineering and assembly", along with all the other detritus that goes into making a small batch of custom build, $560,000 (U.S.) supercars – which, by the way, can't be driven on public roads.
So what do you get for your donation? Ten bucks (AUD) nets you a thank you email from Joss founder. Fifty dollars (AUD) gets you a poster signed by the team. Two-hundred-and-fifty bones will net you a "Team Joss Supporter card that will entitle them to future company benefits" plus a poster. If you option up for the $2,200 (AUD) option, you get an invite to the press launch. And $8k gets you all kinds of swag, track time, and other branded sundries.
But with all Kickstarters, the pledges have to outline the Risks and Challenges, and for Joss, there's a lot:
Every project has risks. We all know that. However, how will we overcome the challenges that are thrown at us?
Firstly, JOSS is not a new start-up company. We've had many highs and lows and overcome them and we will continue to do this. As for what we might face - well, there is always the unexpected, and this means we have to continue to excel at what we do. This is a volunteer project - none takes a salary so we focus on delivering the final result. We have existing shareholders who have invested to get us this far and they demand results. So for us, the focus is on delivering.
And we have strong partners in the industry - ones who are committed to helping us make this a success and by using their talents and engineers, we have an excellent chance of overcoming these obstacles.
The key items we would face will be getting the final set-up right, to ensure this truly is a track-based supercar that does what it sets out to do - and with additional refinement and testing we can accomplish this. Costings are always difficult but we have a small contingency and given the nature of the budget, and the crucially tight control of costs, we aim to be very selective with any expenditure.
Again, we give the entire Joss team props for making it this far, and if you're an Aussie that wants to support your home team on the supercar/trackcar front, we respect that. But for the rest of us, a Kickstarter campaign like this smacks of the last desperate breathes of a company that's on the ropes. We hope they prove us wrong.