Erin and ErinSport - Historical Thread ['62 Erin Ghaleda]

Erin’s Financial Disasater: The 1979 Crash

Erin reported there best earnings to date in 1976, with 5 models on sale, 2 factories and dealerships across Europe. Export to America had also widened their customer base, especially with their luxury models. This success had also greatly increased 3rd party investment, that had now put the company in an ample position to expand.

But, there was disagreement over how this should go about. Then CEO Marco Erin, son of Dominic Erin, was split between supporting his design chief Harold Forgely and his main advisor Arnold Clark, who wanted to revamp current models and maintain Erin’s position as a slightly exotic, slightly unusual brand, and the Board Of Directors, who wanted to expand into more ‘normal’ markets and start directly competing with the British and Germans with saloons and hatchbacks.

This dispute went on for years, and gradually got worse and worse. Marco wanted to hold his company’s status and expand at the same time, but feared a loss of faith from Clark and was concerned that developing so many new cars may end up being a fruitless endeavour. At the same time, the disagreements also meant that Erin’s new cars weren’t being designed in the same way. For instance, the second generation Comprida, launched in 1978, wasn’t approved by the Board of Directors and was essentially self-funded by Clark and Forgely’s design team. At the same time, the new Civera and Nedala were approved by the Board of Directors and looked completely different to the Comprida. Erin was losing its touch.

Then, the downfall began. A number of factors triggered this. The first sign was the failure of the Mk 2 Nedala; the Board of Directors had completely misunderstood the current market trends and failed to realise the lack of demand for such a car. It would stop production just 11 months after its launch. Then, there was the lack of trust from their customers. The new Comprida suffered greatly from this because of how different it was to other Erin’s, and production also had to be halted. The discontinuation of these two cars led to Erin’s many investors pulling out over the year of 1979, gradually reducing the companies potential funding, and the company would be facing huge losses unless it cut production of the majority of its cars - which it did.

All but the Merna and Lira remained in production by the end of 1979. The shock move led to the laying-off of over 7000 staff members, and also saw Arnold Clark and Harold Forgely resigning after 19 years at the company. Marco also fired his entire board of directors for the failings, and the company was left in tatters, barely making a profit.

While ErinSport continued to operate with much success, Marco knew that 1980 was the make or break year for the company. Erin would have to completely reinvent itself, its image and rebuild on a massive scale. Thankfully, there was hope.

A development project, called the ‘Advanced Sports Coupe’, had been in the works since the late 70s. It had resulted in designs for a mid-engine, aluminium bodied low-end sports car, and with some extra funding, it could be brought to production. So, Marco oversaw the hiring of a whole new design team, led by post-graduate design student Chris Famerley. He envisioned a whole new design style for Erin, one that would look futuristic whilst being contemporary. Despite being just 25 years old, Marco was confident that his designs for the new sports car would save the company. That car became known as the Nasaro.

Launched in 1982, it was an immediate success. Marco had also hired a new team of advisors - having axed the board of directors - who helped to market the Nasaro excellently, and allowed it to cover a number of price ranges and customer bases. But, this wasn’t going to be enough; Marco had had to tap into his own family’s savings to fund the car, and needed to get a stronger income base.

This would almost certainly be reliant on a new Merna, the Mk 4. But, the company still had two factories that were currently not being used, and decided to launch alongside the new Merna two other cars - the Visto and the Berlose. To reduce costs, these cars were developed with Toledo engines. And even then, more was needed to cement Erin’s recovery.

The Visto and the Berlose would be successful, but only because of the help of one company: Saminda.


A little bit on the side note, but the Nasaro is my favourite Erin car so far :grin:
By the way, was it based on this? (the winning grey car)

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Nah, though I do like me some Ridge Racer (and check out the classic graphics! :grin:)

It was more based on a combination of this and the DeLorean.

And thanks for the appreciation!

Erin & Saminda - Part 1: Like A Virgin (Allied For The Very First Time)

Erin were almost on the road back to success, but they needed to properly secure their recovery. So, CEO Marco Erin took the incredible decision to accept an offer from Saminda. The Japanese car maker wanted to expand into Europe, giving Erin the perfect opurtunity to widen their range and gain proper worldwide recognition.

This would be the first time Erin had ever partnered with another car maker, certainly on this scale. And with a reliable, well-reputed world car maker like Saminda at their side, Marco was sure the venture would be successful. This gave him the confidence to commit the Visto and Berlose to production, having poured almost all the company’s remaining money into their development, as the cars produced from this alliance would undoubtdely gain attention, if only for the Euro-Asian style.

Documents were signed in 1982, merely months after the Nasaro was released, and the deal was done. Erin and Saminda would design alongside one another and release the resulting vehicles under the Erin brand in (Western) Europe, and the Saminda brand everywhere else in the world. This would be partially changed in 1987, where Erin and Saminda sold the cars alongside each other in South and Latin America, South Africa and Australia. Three cars were planned initially, to be released simultaneously under each company.

The fruits of this international partnership were first bored in 1984. As A-ha’s The Sun Always Shines on TV topped the UK charts, the Erin Devaran was launched. The car that was “Everything You Ever Wanted In A Car” was a brilliant, characterful angular design, made to compete against family cars market in Europe, and was generally seen as a success. Some shakey early sales were soon quashed as Erin’s marketing helped to create the image of a European styled car with Japanese reliability.

This was to be start of the golden period of the Erin-Saminda Alliance. Sales across the board for Erin were boosted by the Devaran’s arrival, as it rebraned Erin in mainland Europe as a car company you could actually take seriously. Meanwhile, increasing success in Group C racing for ErinSport’s Group C Development Project was projecting the company’s image well in the motorsporting world, as this would also be the first of 3 storming years for the Group A Erin Nasaro that would dominate the division across the world and even forced FIA to adjust the the class rulings due to its success.

Erin were no longer recovering; they were back on form.

1984 Erin Devaran

An efficient, compact and user friendly vehicle; Japanese innards with an Erin designed interior, along with a few other bits and bobs. A rebadged version of the Saminda CZ2, the Devaran was an in-between car between the compact Merna and the mid-sized Saminda C5.

Its main selling point was it’s size and shape; plenty of space in a car with a lower than average foot print, excellent amounts of room in the cabin and a large boot. Plus, decent economy was complemented by a well designed Saminda 1.7l engine and spritley 4 speed manual gearbox. It may not have looked sporty, but the Devaran was still enjoyable to drive.

The design on the outside may only just have fit into Erin’s range, but it didn’t slow the sales of this car. The Devaran was quick to gain popularity, and has become a fairly iconic and unusual classic Erin thanks to its angular shape and linear design. Because the car was sold as a Saminda in the UK, “badge conversion” kits have been a popular mod Saminda versions of the car, as the only proper Erin Devarans sold in Europe were all right hand drive examples.


Erin & Saminda - Part 2: I Am The Resurection (Of Low Cost Motoring)

The succesful few years between 1984 and 1989 saw the Erin-Saminda Alliance prosper. The Devaran/CZ2 did well in the majority of markets it was sold in, and by 1987, it became the first car Erin started exporting to Latin and South America. However, there was a need to expand these new markets, as well as continue the alliance. So, plans were drawn up for car no. 2, and this time Erin would be the chief designers.

Based on the demand for a mid-sized sedan from both Saminda and the new Latin/South America markets, Erin began work on such a vehicle. Trouble arose however when the designers tried to work out what this car should really be - a mid-size executive saloon, that would follow in the footsteps of the Mk 1 Berlose, focusing on a premium feel from the outset? Or, should it be a more basic, cheaper to build, ‘world car’ platform that could have premium features added afterwards?

Head of Project Michael Serbile eventually decided on the world car approach as it would be more appealing to Saminda and would save on costs. His team took the current Berlose Mk 1 chassis, shortened the wheelbase, reshaped the cabin space, and redesigned the suspension, replacing the all-round double wishbones with macphersons at the front and trailing arms at the rear. Redesigning the suspension was expensive, but they saved a lot of money compared to having to design the chassis from the ground up.

A few years and some market research later, the Lomaron was born. The car had been sent to Saminda a year prior to its 1989 launch to ensure they had time to work on their variant, the C5. With Saminda now established in Europe, the Lomaron was not sold on the continent and instead was sold in South Africa, Australia and South and Latin America as both production lines being used to make the cars had surplus capability and could manufacture enough vehicles to send enough vehicles to each market. Thus, in Japan and America, it was sold as a Saminda C5.

The Lomaraon itself was marketed as a budget luxury sedan, cheaper and far more suited to rougher terrain than its German rivals. Good relibability, low cost construction techniques and a reworked engine range (borrowed from the Merna and Berlose) meant this car would do well, though Erin did struggle in the early months to get enough vehicles out to all markets.

However, this was also the first sign of weakness in the Erin-Saminda alliance. Now that Erin were making a lot more money than they had ever made before, and their expansion into these new export markets was challenging Saminda’s own international sales.

1989 Erin Lomaron

A joint-venture between Japanese maker Saminda and Erin, the Lomaron aimed to be a low cost alternative mid-size executive sedan that would sell better in poorer countries.

While some luxuries were provided, especially on more expensive trims, the main focus was on building a solid, reliable and practical car that could be sold for export easily and marketed at a low cost. Erin sold this car alongside the Devaran - the previous Erin-Saminda car - in Latin/South America, South Africa and Australia.

Styling wise, the car went for a more contemporary look than its fellow Erin models, with the design echoing its facelifted Berlose cousin but attempting to be more universal in order to make the rebadged Saminda version better. The headlights were thoroughly inspired by Japanese cars of the time, and a smoothed and less complex version of Erin’s iconic 80s tail light design is found at the rear.

Few things are particularly noteworthy about the car. The performance was average, the engines were borrowed from the Berlose and Merna line and the whole car itself was really just a lot of reworked bits from the Erin and Saminda parts bin. What was significant though was that this was Erin’s first time exporting cars on a larger scale, and the Lomaron would emerge as a figurehead for their ventures.


##Attempted Rebirth - A Study of the Eco-V8
So after reading through this (scroll down through the posts a little) on the Auxuras Motor Co page (@Starfish94), I got inspired to see whether an Eco-V8 could be a potential thing.

Erin used to use V8s a lot back in the 60s and 70s, but after their economic crash and reinvention, the focus on the engine type started to wain. The only place they’ve been found in the company’s lineup for the past 20 years has been on top level performance vehicles like the Scarlet and some sports trims.

Currently, Erin’s engine portfolio is decisively focused on i4s and i6s, with a sprinkling of V6s and just one V8. Not willing to give up on the potential of the V8, the company commenced a design study into whether a feasible V8 could be created. And by feasible, that means it would need to be economical, reliable and cost-effective. But, to truly be worth it, the engine would need to offer something different in terms of characteristic to the current range of engines.

###The Test
After some prior research, engineers conlcuded that these V8s should be built based on the same specifications as other engines in the Pureon line-up, the current generation of Erin engines. This meant they’d all be turbocharged, with 4 valves per cylinder, direct injection and VVT/L.

For the cars, it was decided that the costs of a V8 engine would make them more preferable to customers buying top end trims. As well as this, the researchers wanted to cover two distinct types of vehicles. So, the Merna and Berlose were chosen, Erin’s two most popular vehicles.

Starting with the Merna, a small block V8 was developed, which would fit into the transverse-orientated engine bay of the car. Surprisingly, the 1.75l V8 Turbo fits in very well, and isn’t much heavier than the 1.4l i4 TDi engine that was used for comparison purposes in the test. The trim used was the top-of-the-range Vox trim.

For the Berlose, a more regular 3.0l V8 was used, and a 3.5l i6 - the largest i6 produced by Erin - was used for comparison. Once again, the trim used was the Vox trim.

###Results - Merna

The only real key difference between the two cars is that the V8 has an increased drivability score and noticeably lower fuel economy. And considering that there is very little difference in the price, it does make the V8 a very marketable option. What’s more, the weight increase is limited - just 13kg, despite how much large the engine is in terms of form and capacity than the 1.4l i4.

Engine-wise, there are greater differences, which was expected. The V8 revs to a much higher limit - 7500 rpm vs 6700 rpm - and thankfully, the reliability drop has been minimalised. What does greatly differ is the economy of the V8, and the peaked torque curve is less preferable than the smoother line of the i4. This, however, is what researchers were hoping to achieve. The V8 would certainly provide a different driving experience, and in the family hatchback market, this would be a serious USP. But, there is one major downfall; the service costs are far, far higher, and perhaps too much to be worth the different characteristic of the engine.

###Results - Berlose

This is where we see the benefits of larger V8s; the V8 trim is cheaper, lighter and slightly more reliable than the i6. While performance statistics were actually fairly well matched, the V8 scores higher in Sportiness likely due to the increased responsiveness of the engine. It achieves this whilst producing less power than the i6 too. And, despite the reduction in fuel economy, the lower price tag would likely make up for that and would not be a deal breaker.

Here we see how well the V8 truly matches up to the i6. Even if it is shorter than the i6’s, the flat torque line on the V8 around the 3000 to 5000 range is very preferable for fuel economy, though there is no doubt that the i6 is definetley the more efficient engine. Once again, the V8 certainly has different characteristics, and the rougher torque curve would certainly be more interesting to drive with, especially when combined with the 7 speed sequential gearbox option. And, with minimal difference in service cost, it only strengthens the V8’s case; this is an engine well suited to this car.

Is it possible to bring V8’s back into the mainstream? The results of this study do seem to suggest that. While the V8 in the Merna is perhaps too expensive for the target market, it does open up the option of using V8s for performance versions of the car, even if it were to be just a one-off special. What really was surprising was that in most cases, the differences between the V8 and i4 weren’t that great, and having such an engine in a small car would be undoubtedly unique.

The Berlose V8 is a far more promising option, especially as an alternative to the 3.5l i6. While that engine has been the best choice for efficiency and power at the top end of the Berlose range, the 3.0l V8 offers similar performance with a more exciting feel and for less money, which certainly makes it worth considering for production. Potentially too, a smaller V8, perhaps in the 2.2 to 2.6l range, could be made, making it a possible option on the Tauga as well.


very interesting ! V8 is too expensive and not easier to produce compared to 4 and 6 cylinder , actually Saminda is not a stranger to V8’s , our Super GT series uses V8 engine.

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The engine production units are the big difference. That doesn’t show up much in the estimated costs, but in the campaign the production units are really gonna get you. 100+ production units is a lot for any engine, Pearlite’s luxury V12s are around 120 and Adenine’s eco I4s are around 40.


@phale Forgot about those! I was only using the estimated costs of the cars just to save time, perhaps I should have gone more indepth :wink:

@Starfish94 That difficulty of making them is why this would only be a small range of engines. You just can’t beat i4s and i6s!

Erin cars are good , make those V8 into production please

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soooooooo while komodo has been making huge capacity i4, erin is making miniscule V8s?

oh the wonder that is the automation world.


The increase in drivability is (maybe) because in the game as it is, a falling turbo curve is more drivable as a flat turbo torque curve get penalized. So maybe is not the v8 but rather the turbo design.

That said, GIVE US V8s x:


Excellent work in getting them economical. And on the other hand here I am with trying to make V12s economical because I refuse to build any V8 that isn’t OHV. :laughing:


So then, public feedback has been good…
Senior project management has been informed :wink:

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Okay, time for something a little bit different. Long story short, I wanted to showcase two cars I’ve been working on, as well as bit of RP stuff. So, I decided that a magazine article would be perfect for this…

@Yamahafazer600, this is what I was talking about. In a similar vein to @Deskyx’s Dimension Nova T250 Ver.2, but not a fast!

I’m not going to lie: I love special edition cars. 30th anniversary models, recreations of classic cars, you name it. And one of the most recognisable labels of a special edition car is the XR badge found on a handful of Erins throughout history. It’s a step-up from the X badge, which designates that that car has been tuned in the pursuit of performance. XR’s are limited edition, specially made versions of their cars that are designed to provide the most brilliant of driving experiences to the lucky few who get one. Only 500 of the car I’m driving today will be made, and it’s one we’ve been looking forward to. Erin’s two seater coupe, the Nardella, is getting the XR treatment. And better still, we’ve been invited along on a pre-release test.

It’s not often that car companies lets us tag along on vehicle tests, which is partially why I’m excited for today’s review. The other reason stands in front of me on a sign, reading “Erin Motor Company - X Department Research and Development Centre”. For Erin fans, this is holy ground. It’s been the birth place of all of the company’s sports tuned cars for the past 50 years, and is also home to ErinSport. Everything from sports saloons to two seat roadsters to Le Mans winners have come out of the steel gates that greet the crew and I, the dew still clinging on. It may well be just past 5 am on a fresh June morning, but I’m thoroughly awake.

Bang on the dot of 5:07 am, the gate opens to let an Erin Berlose towing a motorsport trailer through, followed shortly by a small convoy of vehicles. We are greeted by some company executives; introductions over, we’re in the van and off.

The X Department’s R&D centre is built on a disused airfield, part of the aptly named “Airfield Industrial Estate” in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. A good location to secretly test sports cars, under the disguise of a town more accustomed to elderly tourists and ramblers. But that’s not all; Ashbourne is on the edge of the Peak District, the place we’re headed to this morning.

Erin obviously liked the benefits of this place. It’s filled with a mix of roads, some twisty, some straight, that are often quiet and, most importantly, hard to reach. Trying to conduct automotive espionage in a place where the weather can change in moments is not going to being fun for anyone, meaning the X Department pretty much has free reign of this beautiful part of England.

Climbing higher into the hills, the sun appears behind us at last, dousing the sparse landscape with a gorgeous orange glow and giving us a preview of the distinctive bright green of the grass up here. Cars have been tested here by Erin since 1955, when then-CEO Dominic Erin was looking for a location to put that year’s Targa Florio car through its paces. Another car tested here is one that is intrinsically linked with the Nardella XR - the Lira 200SL.

The Lira is one of the most famous Erins of all time. From 1968 to 1981, it was the company’s 2 seater entry level sports car, famed for its V4 engine. In 1972, to celebrate the 50,000th Lira to be built, the X Department released the 200SL, the SL standing for Super Lightweight. This was a special edition, stripped down version of the Lira that was designed to be more focused than the base car. It didn’t carry the XR badge, but only because Erin had yet to start branding such cars this way. The similarities between this and the Nardella are obvious, so what better an excuse to bring them together.

The first hour or so is spent testing the car. We’re in a quiet corner of the Peak District, having just passed through the little village of Wetton. The road in question is the one linking this village with Butterton. It’s a narrow, hilly trail that descends into a valley and is surrounded by cow fields. This is one of many roads they use regularly, and like all of the roads they use regularly, they don’t tend to obey the speed limits.

“We don’t worry about the police catching us” says one of the engineers. “Very few are up at this time of the morning, and even fewer are going to be that bothered about us speeding down roads barely anyone uses”. I ask him “But what if you encounter another vehicle? It’s not like you can pass easily here”. He laughs, and replies simply “It’s a good excuse to test the brakes.”

A few more runs and its off to the next location. This time, it’s an unnamed road near Harlington, that follows an old river bed, providing a number of circuit-esque sweeping bends. And then it’s off to another location, deeper and deeper into the Peak District. I may not be driving the car, but seeing it being finalised and adjusted is something special; it’s a glimpse into the thousands of man hours that go into designing a car.

Finally, at 6:31 am, it’s my turn to drive. We’re now at The Pack Horse Inn at Crowdecote. It’s been a regular stop on these tests for the X Department ever since they began testing here, and we finally get to meet the other car I’m driving today. The Lira 200SL sits in the carpark in front of the pub, next to its owner, esteemed car collector Joseph Goodman. A former ErinSport engineer, he knows this place very well, and regularly drove cars for the department. He’s seen as a bit of a legend at the X Department, and he is warmly welcomed by the engineers.

One of the executives briefs us on what we’ll be allowed to do. “You haven’t got long in the car, before the traffic gets too busy” he says, handing us a map of the route we’re taking. They’re not trusting me entirely with the car, as I’m being accompanied by an engineer. But, we’ll be followed by Goodman in the Lira; it’ll be an excellent chance to compare the two.

What amazes you when you get into the car is the sheer lack of features. The biggest luxury here is the radio, which is only a small touchscreen with a handful of buttons. A very limited aircon system has been fitted as well, but that is pretty much it. The dashboard itself is made of a lot less material too than the standard car, one of the many weight reductions in the car. Behind me, I can only see the roll cage, and a pitiful amount of carpet that’s only there to cover the bare metal.

Sound sparse to you? That’s because its supposed to be. You buy this car for the experience of driving it, not the creature comforts. And that driving experience begins the moment you start the 2.4l i4 Turbo. This is the same engine as the one found in the Merna XEco from last year, slightly more powerful and just as loud. A warbling baritone fills the car, and I take her onto the road.

I immediately felt the weight difference. With some 150kg shaved off, the car is much sharper in the corners and more planted. The acceleration too is greater too; 0-60 takes just 5.8 seconds, and the torque from that turbo really forces you back in your seat. This car could be faster, but that’s not the point. What really counts on this machine is the work they’ve done elsewhere, which you notice the moment you take it onto some twisty back roads.

The suspension is perhaps it’s best feature. The XR has been fitted with the same active system found on more expensive X-tuned cars, and it feels dynamic and responsive. Push it hard round a sharp bend and the car stiffens up to keep you flat, without overdoing it and making the ride choppy. Over bumps, it’s certainly firm, but doesn’t become uncomfortable. It’s able to react fast and deal with rougher surfaces, and you’ll find that to be a real a confidence booster when it comes to how far you want to push the car.

Much like the suspension, the grip of this thing isn’t too razor sharp either. There’s enough to stop the car from understeering or oversteering, but also enough to keep you on your toes from time to time; this car can get a bit loose when you want it to. The ethos of this car seems to be about enjoyment, and letting you fully appreciate the excellent all-Aluminium chassis of the base car in its most well-tuned state.

By now, we’re in some of the highest reaches of the Peak District, and the early morning sun is becoming brighter. I get to see the reflections from the gentle bulges in the bonnet every once in a while, reminding me that is more than just you’re average sports car. The styling is tasteful; it may well have bigger flares on the wheel arches and there’s some minimal aero body work dotted around the car, but it’s not unsightly.

Behind me, I see the Lira. It looks suited to these sorts of roads and despite the 40 year age gap, it keeps up fairly well. Every so often, the gorgeous and gentle rumble of its V4 pierces the air, only adding to the sound of the Nardella. The engineer beside me is certainly happy too. While he has been jotting the odd note down on some paper and typing some numbers into his tablet, he’s clearly wanting to see what I think of this car too.

Perhaps if there is one thing to criticise, it’s that this car is too sporty. I can’t imagine taking it on a motorway with the lack of sound insulation, let alone luxuries, and it’s by no means relaxing to drive. Perhaps I even need to be a little more awake to drive this thing safely; either way, this is not made for the morning commute.

But then again, what better a way to experience this part of the world; Erin know that when the X Department develop cars up here, they always turn out well. This will be no exception when production begins in just over 2 months time, and the rest of the automotive press get to drive this car properly.

We reach Newhaven and pull over into a petrol station. The rest of the X Department team are waiting there; my time in this car is over. It may have only been 25 minutes, but it’s been a genuine experience. This is one hell of a special car, and I’m now getting into an equally special one. Goodman gets out of the drivers seat and I climb in to the Lira 200SL.

And my, what a difference. If the Nardella’s cabin is sparse, then the Lira’s is positively barren. Almost everything has been stripped out in the focus of absolute weight loss, and it shows - this car has a kerb weight of a mere 742kg, meaning the 130 bhp from the tuned 2.0l V4 engine makes a serious impact.

6.8 seconds from 0-60. That’s it. On a car that was made in 1972. This thing can keep up with most hothatches. The difference is though, hothatches don’t tend to feel light or nimble. Whatever revs you’re doing, this car will rocket away the moment you hit the accelerator.

We rocket down the A515 before switching onto some backroads. The Lira was a car that always loved corners, and with even less weight to worry about, the 200SL is a borderline masterpiece. Sure, it’s not as tight as modern cars, but it’s that slightly rounded feel that you get with a vehicle of this age that makes it all the more fun. It’s just a little bit dangerous to be doing 45 round a sharp, downhill right hander in this car, and it only makes it more enjoyable.

The chassis setup is also fantastic. The fibreglass body that replaces the normal steel one should make the car feel looser, but it doesn’t. All of the key components are molded to a steel subframe connected to a steel chassis, as well two roll bars to compensate for the lack of rigidity. The result is that it feels solid, strange for something this light. No rolling in the corners, no high centre of gravity, none of that whatsoever.

It must be said that the brakes were a bit iffy. Great when they were cool, on the sloppy side when they were hot. Goodman tells me that they’re original spec discs and pads, meaning that they won’t hold a candle to modern systems. “Why not upgrade them?” I ask him, especially given the huge availibility of aftermarket bits for the Lira. “Nah” he replies. “It’d spoil the experience”.

That’s exactly what this car is. An experience. Owning this car is an agreement with yourself that you’re willing to give up modern automotive amenities in exchange for one of the most fun to drive cars money can buy. On any other road, I’d be getting annoyed at the wind noise, the rough ride, the lack of padding in the seats, the absence of a radio - you get the picture. But when you’re slinging this little gem round the Winnats Road, nothing else matters.

The sumptuous noise of that V4, that is so instantly recognisable and so much better than other 4 cylinder blocks; the response of the steering, that’s light enough to be manageable but still gives you enough feedback to keep you from getting bored; the ever-so-slightly difficult nature of driving this car, thanks to its astonishing power-to-weight ratio and racing suspension setup; it’s a combination like no other.

We arrive in Bakewell. I’m in need of refreshment and more breakfast. Plus the obligatory Bakewell Pudding. How can you come to the Peak District without a visit here? It feels like a safe retreat from the spectacle and grandeur of the District. More than that, it gives me some time to mull over two great cars that I’ve driven today.

There is no denying the similarity in ethos these vehicles share. Even if one is a modern, advanced sports coupe and the other is a barebones, no frills weekend toy, they both centre themselves around being the ultimate version of their respective base models. They’re celebrations of the design achievements of these cars.

I found an instance connection with the Nardella XR. It’s going to be one of the best cars of this year, no doubt. Proof that even the big manafacturers like to let their hair down once in a while, and making something purposefully lacking in practically in favour of pure driving pleasure.

The Lira 200SL too is a superb car. You could never drive this every day, but I see few better ways of spending a Sunday afternoon than blasting one of these through the English countryside. It’s old without being outdated; a magnificent ode to the joys of driving.

Cars like these don’t come around often. They’re a special treat for motoring journalists like myself; a break from the usual reviews of everyday cars. And that’s because they’re made to remind us that driving is not all about the daily commute or the school run. It can, on the off occasion, be just about you, the driver. Any special edition car has got to make you feel special too, and it’s exactly what the X Department does with XR models. That limited list of cars made this way that began with the 200SL has now got another entry, and it is one hell of a driving machine.

The Nardella XR goes on sale at the start of November this year, for 26600 Automoation Dollars.

#So yeah, big well done if you managed to read all of that :blush:
This - believe it or not - was meant to be shorter. But, I decided to go wild. It was inspired by articles in car magazines, especially Top Gear magazine.

I do realise that in quite a lot of this review, I was bigging up my cars, which probably comes across as just me blowing my own trumpet. So, if anyone would like to review these cars for real, just PM me and I’ll be happy to send a test model :wink:

Critique/comments/complaints all welcome!


Liked instantly. Superb write up and visuals. Magazine material even.

It’s difficult to make a spotlight on a company not sound like an advertisement but you’ve done it. Bravo. In 4 years of daily Jalopnik browsing I have never seen anything even close to this caliber of writing.


My word. Thank you so much for the praise! It really means a lot :blush:

hory. that is some nice work man ! please do more

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Now this is a story that could pass for a real magazine article for an enthusiasts’ publication. Keep up the good work!

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##The Berlose Mk 4 - Making Up For Lost Time
Having been overshadowed by the succes of the new Tauga, the Mk 3 Berlose hadn’t been as good as Erin hoped. They needed the Mk 4 to be a far greater car in order for it take its place alongside the Tauga and to maintain its position in the executive saloon market. So, it became the lead car for Erin’s new 2nd generation Millenial design style and was given class leading characteristics, resulting in an excellent saloon car.

2006 Erin Berlose (Mk 4)
The previous Berlose got caught a little in the shadow of the then-brand new Tauga, and Erin were keen to reestablish the position of their executive saloon with the Mk 4.

Launched in 2006, the Mk 4 Berlose introduced Erin’s second generation of Millenial engines, as well as continuing Erin’s use of aluminium for body panels on their saloon vehicles. The chassis of this car was one of the company’s best achievements of the last 10 years; lightweight, versatile and incredibly well balanced - the weight distribution is 50.2/49.8 F/R. In turn, it added in room for AWD systems to reduce development costs down the line.

The Mk 4 was also great from the customer’s perspective too: above average fuel economy, particular on the petrol engined models, good performance (0-60 in 6.4 seconds was achievable with the 6-speed manual gearbox) and superb driving characteristics, the car’s best quality. It was nimble thanks to its low weight and great distribution, as well as being an excellent long distance cruiser and very comfortable wherever you drove it.

More sporty features such as a limited slip diff and adaptive suspension were included as standard on most trim levels, while Erin collaborated with Kenwood to develop the infotainment system on the car.

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If this car were a song, it’d be Black and White Town by Doves

2006 Erin Berlose X 4.0l
The most powerful Berlose made to date, the X 4.0l arrived in the mid-noughties with a lot of catching up to do. The previous generation had not been the success Erin had hoped for, having been trying to replicate the 1996 Berlose X-AllDrive. This, however, was a fresh start, and it was packed with plenty of features to set it apart from the competition.

Its lightweight construction meant it weighed less than all its rivals, and the 50/50 weight balance ensured it was poised and balanced. The active suspension system was all new from the ground up, and would also find its way into the Tauga X-AllDrive the following year. It was the most advanced system Erin had ever developed, and allowed for a brilliant range of setups and a dynamic, responsive feel through the corners.

The 4.0l V8 was specially designed for the car; simple in design, advanced in construction, ensuring it was an excellent powerplant for the car. Delivery said power was a single clutch 7 speed sequential box, developed from an ErinSport gearbox that had been used on some of the teams ELMS vehicles. To compliment the advanced transmission, an electric limited slip diff was fitted for maximum traction.

The result was a 202 mph super saloon that could reach 60 in just 4.5 seconds. It may not have been the most elegant of cars in terms of handling, but it was good enough to give its lighter Tauga X-AllDrive sibling a run for its money.

Despite the superb performance, the looks were kept simple and tasteful, maintaining the infamous stance of the Mk 4 Berlose while still being menacing enough to warrant a second look.

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If this car were a song, it’d be Galvanize by The Chemical Brothers