On these pages we have brought you all manner of exotic and classic cars that make even the automotive laymen feel lustful. Well this car is somewhat like those. It has the same number of wheels as a Bugatti Veyron and is faster than a Ferrari. No, really! If a Ferrari is doing 40mph on the inside lane, this car, doing 70mph, will easily overtake it!
It started life as the Aquila, launched in March 2013 by a Russian company called Tagaz. On paper it looked very promising. The four-door coupe-styling gave it a sleek profile and the price of 415,000 Roubles (less than £5,000) seemed almost too good to be true. When you consider that it came as standard with air conditioning, power windows, central locking, electrically adjustable heated mirrors, radio cassette, power steering, alloy wheels, driver’s airbag and ABS, it appears to be the bargain of the millennium.
But it was too good to be true. Less than a year after being unveiled the company declared bankruptcy, leaving the car’s future in doubt. Then, Oleg Paramonov, the son of the founder took the project to France, hoping to revive it. In early 2016 the firm was renamed MPM Motors, opening up a production facility near Paris. The car too was renamed, first as the PS160 and then as the ”Erelis”, Lithuanian for eagle.
The engine also changed. Initially it was planned to use a Mitsubishi 1.6 litre engine until the PSA Group agreed to supply 1.2 litre turbocharged 3-cylinders, rated at 129bhp. Enthusiasts can rejoice as this car also offers a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Thanks to the space frame construction and composite body, the car is very light, tipping the scales at just 1,225kg. Sadly, the price has gone up to €8,500 or nearly £7,500. That puts its price up to the same level as Ladas and Dacias and it remains to be seen whether this can match the quality and performance from these storied brands. And that’s just for the initial version. When full production kicks off it, will rise to an eye watering €12,990 or more than £11,000!
If the website is to be believed, it has dealers throughout mainland western Europe, one in Morocco, and even one all the way in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. And maybe one day, this quirky little car will make its way across the Channel, from Russia with love.