And there’s the Shromet Dragon and the Cavallera Okuma, maybe even the base spec model of the now retconned Piranha
#1994 Erin Agathe
Picture this; it’s 1990. The Nasaro, now one of the most successful sports cars Erin has ever made, is about to end production. A replacement is needed. The Nasaro’s competition has changed drastically through its lifetime, and the main rivals to it were now a slew of Japanese performance coupes.
So what does Erin do? Try to copy them, of course!
The Agathe is an oddity in the Erin back catalogue. It wasn’t very successful and was only around for a few years. and scarcely gets mentioned when talking about company history. Only around 500 were ever made between 1994 and 1996, despite a considerable amount of research and development going into this thing.
The idea was to make a British-born competitor to cars like the Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi 3000GT (aka GTO) and Mazda RX7, and continue Erin’s mid-size coupe lineage. The chassis was custom designed, with a 2.52m wheelbase and a similar coupe shape to the Scarlet’s of the day. The styling was unique, done by a specialist junior team who it was felt were more accustomed to the kind of looks buyers were demanding in this sector.
That said, it still got the signature Erin L-shaped tail lights, albeit reinterpreted a bit, just to ensure it wasn’t totally alien in the company’s lineup. Inside, you got 4 seats and a standard mid-90s interior, with comfort being exchanged for low weight.
Aside from that, the innards were fairly standard for an Erin sports coupe. RWD with a viscous LSD, 5 speed manual gearbox and all-round double-wishbone suspension. Engine wise, you could have a tuned version of the 2.5l i6 availible on the Berlose of the day or the Gen 1.5 version of the 3.3l V6, the same as the one in the base-model Scarlet Mk 2. That meant 222 hp on the X Tuned trim, in a car that weighed just 1226 kg.
What went wrong then? Well, for starters, Erin failed to realise one crucial thing; the reason these Japanese coupes were getting so much attention was because they were from Japan, meaning the Agathe lacked that same slightly exotic feel to it and didn’t have the same appeal. It also came off as a bit of a knock-off to some reviewer.
Secondly, it didn’t have the same magic as the Nasaro had had. When it launched in 1982, that car was a bold, futuristic statement of a car. This felt more like an experimental vehicle that had been deemed roadworthy as oppose to a genuine successor.
What’s more, it wasn’t terribly good as a car either. The boot was small, it was uncomfortable at low speeds and was fairly noisy to. Driving it was certainly rewarding, but it was hardly a drivers car like the Scarlet, nor did it feel like a proper Erin performance car like the Merna X or the later Berlose X-AllDrive.
Specs for the 330X trim
A lack of sales and the poor reception quickly ended the life of this Erin oddity, and it was soon forgotten. Today, it has a small but dedicated fanbase of collectors. As far as Erin classics go though, there are far better options, especially with the enthusiast-status of the Merna Mk 4 and 5 and the myriad of other performance vehicles from this period from Erin.
I’d drive Especially some 250 variant - why? Because I like I6s more than V6s (I know, weird from someone running a V6 EVERYTHING company) and a sports Erin with an I6 is something really unique
V6 everything you say…
Ok, less than LaVache
Dammit, I was going to point out the name thing
@titleguy1 whistles awkwardly and walks away
Shite though, didn’t realise how similar the names were. I’ll change that now!
The Agathe looked the part and had the right ingredients, but felt half-baked compared to the second-gen Scarlet with which it shared its V6 engine. And at any rate, the presence of the Scarlet in the lineup meant that the Agathe would have seemed somewhat pointless. However, it could make a good base for a tuner car in the right hands. Anyway, all the cars you have made in the UE4 release look better than ever, even if they are really remakes of designs from the Kee engine version!
#1986 Erin Merna Coupe and Estate
It’s May 1985. Erin has just paid off its debts from its financial crisis and is at last able to expand its design team at its Central Design Studio at the company’s HQ in Nottingham, UK. Head of Design Chris Famerley, who had styled the entire current Erin range, had been asking to expand his staff numbers for some time now, mainly to bring in new talent and new ideas for cars. Finally, his calls are answered, and he oversees the addition of 30 new members, 14 of which we will be focusing on today.
These 14, known at the time as “the Junior team”, were all post-graduate design students around 1 to 4 years out of university, who had impressed Famerley and whom he felt were right for the task he was proposing. Research into who was buying the Mk 4 Merna showed that there were a significant number of younger buyers, many of whom were buying this as their first new car.
CEO Marco Erin had requested two new variants of the Merna as well as a face lift of the standard model. The idea was that this team who were right in the age bracket for this car would be in the right mind to style these new versions, as well as bring completely new talent into the company. It was risky, but Famerley had been recruited under similar circumstances at the age of 25.
A year later, and the results of this project came into being.
#1986 Erin Merna Estate
Aimed to cater to buyers looking for a first family car or just wanting some extra utility space, the Merna Estate was all about making a wagon appealing to young buyers.
The iconic tail lights were widened and stretched further to differentiate them from the standard car, and an extra faux vent was added at the rear on the boot lid for aesthetic purposes.
Then, on the back of the roof, a small glass window was designed in. It didn’t serve a purpose; the Junior team had simply been experimenting and felt this feature would be a nice touch.
At the front, the circle headlight fixtures were replaced by rectangular ones, while the front grill fascia was reshaped to be a little less ‘smiley’. This design would later be transferred to the standard car.
#1986 Erin Merna Coupe
This is where the Junior team really shined. They proposed a 3 door liftback variant of the Merna (yes, not exactly a coupe, but…) which, rather than keeping the same body style and hatchback style boot of the standard car, would be sleeker and styled differently. Essentially, at the rear, it became a fastback, while at the front, the nose was lowered and grill/lights section thinned.
A unique headlight design was then introduced to separate this version from other models. It was aimed at making the Coupe look more serious.
At the rear, an extra piece of grey plastic fascia was added (supposedly to make it sportier).
But the most exciting car the team produced was this:
#1986 Erin Merna X-Coupe
As if the X Department couldn’t get involved! The powertrain of the standard X variant were ported over, a rear wing was added and a fat exhaust fitted to ensure everyone head the blunt swaggeriness of the 2.0l i4 engine.
Today, this is one of the most sought after variants of the Merna, period. There has only ever been one X-Tuned Merna with a body style like this. Prices have been climbing considerably year on year since the late 2000s.
These new variants would remain in production until 1991, when the Mk 4 ended production and the Mk 5 arrived.
#We’re switching over
From now on, this thread will be known as the Erin and ErinSport Historical Thread. Here, all and any Erin related stuff that isn’t to do with the company’s newest cars will be posted.
All new car stuff can be found on the new showroom threar, where I’ll be gradually rolling out the updated range of cars.
1968 Erin Merna 200X (mini photoshoot)
I’ve been neglecting this thread, so here’s some nice shots of the sporty version of the Mk 2 Merna sporting some custom modern black rims and duck-egg blue paint.
Did someone say UE4?
Now that more bodies have been added and the new fixture system has been fully implemented, I’ve been able to start to create some Erin’s in UE4 properly…
1986 Erin Scarlet X (Mk 1)
The first entrant in the company’s definitive Scarlet marque, the Mk 1’s smooth design smooth design lines created a sleek, understated sports car that packed plenty of punch. This top of the range X-tuned model, with its 3.6l V8, was good for 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.
1983 Erin Merna (Mk 4)
The Mk 4 Merna was a radical depature from previous Erin’s and a much needed replacement to the dull and outdated Mk 3. Styled by Chris Famerley, the aim was to make something that felt new - at the time - yet contemporary. Today, it’s more recognised for its uber-Eighties charm.
1968 Erin Merna (Mk 2)
The car that cemented Erin’s position as an actual car maker and not just a race team; the Mk 2 was the most ‘normal’ car Erin had made to date, and would do well both with sales and out on the track. Today, it’s the company’s most popular classic car, with around 7000 still on the road.
Not to be mean, but Merna Mk2 looks quite funny with those design choices
It’s a quirky little car. Fun and practicality in an economic and affordable package!
2017 ErinSport Scarlet GTE
With the return of their Scarlet sports car in 2016, it wasn’t going to be long before ErinSport got their hands on it. The Scarlet GTE marks the end of a 15 year absence from the world of GT racing for ErinSport. Factory teams ran in this year’s Asian Le Mans Series and European Le Mans Series.
Like its road-going variant, it has all-aluminium construction and the same all-round double wishbone suspension. Its 2.6m wheelbase and compact size make it nimble, making up for its lower-than-average power.
It’s performed well in its first year, but next year is when it gets much more serious; Erin is returning to the World Endurance Championship, and this will be the car competing in the GTE category. The rolling-chassis variant is also now on sale to privateer teams, meaning we can expect the Scarlet to be racing in GT3 events from next year as well.
Merciel Groupe | Merciel S.A, Montreuil S.A, Adagio S.p.A & Nohda Giken Kōgyō KK | 1983 Nohda Assent Group B
That looks great. I love the subtle canards(?) on the sides of the front bumper and the fog-lights.
That’s a LIKE. Love the design.
@SideswipeBL Yep, they’re canard/aero fin kinda things. Who knew that an aerial fixture could be so useful!
That is a proper race car from every angle!
Now if only the AMWEC were to be reimagined and relaunched for UE4… Surely that would be something to watch!