Buy A Car Company And Start Making Mid-Engined Miatas, Sort Of

British engineering firm MMI is selling the Avocet sports car program including its design, all data as well as production and intellectual property rights. The car itself is a 1,600 pound mid-engined two-seater. Not a Miata, but close in spirit!

The first Avocet renders popped up back in 2008, and while the press instantly compared the car to a Lotus, I always thought it was more of a Renault Sport Spider kind of deal a decade after the French perfected the concept.

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The man behind MMI is Martin Miles, who had this to say about their contemporary baby:

We have done everything we set out to do – and more. The result is that Avocet is now a highly competitive car which combines a stylish, ultra-lightweight two-seater body with exceptional chassis dynamics and awesome performance ... and we have achieved that whilst still retaining our base model price ambition of sub-£30,000 OTR (on the road).

That price and the weight target of 1,543 pounds could only be achievable in the UK of course, but the Avocet is a smart package nevertheless.

Lotus and Caterham people worked on it, and the result is a modular two-seater based on an aluminum honeycomb chassis with a center tub, subframes and sub-assemblies. It can be left hand drive, feature a central seating position and MMI claims a modern hybrid system would fit as well. What’s more, the future owner may even be able to create its body shells using 3D-printing technology.

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Yeah, but what exactly do you get for your money?

MMI has completed a pre-production run of the car, which features a doorless, one-piece moulded body shell and utilizes some of the latest lightweight composite materials to provide remarkable strength combined with low weight. The standard car features a steeply inclined windscreen, although a very attractive low-line wrap-around aero-screened ‘Spyder’ version is included in the range.

The current vehicles use selected Ford standard and performance parts, which give the cars a mature component inventory that is fully tested and proven in the market.

The standard powertrain incorporates a Ford 2-liter engine developing 150bhp. An up-rated 225bhp version, developed by Mountune, has been included as a special order option. An all-up weight of around 700 kilograms, in power to weight terms, positions the Avocet alongside the quickest – and, with a 0-60 time under 5 seconds, it makes the car extremely competitive.

The car is designed for sale as a fully equipped, fully homologated road-going sports car.

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So, you get a Ford Miata with an engine behind your back.

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If it doesn’t work out, you can always just buy a Renault Sport Spider.

Photo credit: MMI

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Contact the author at mate@jalopnik.com.

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