Devon GTX: Powerful New American Canvas
The new Devon GTX: a moving experience, standing still.
The first vehicle from Devon Motorworks, the 650-horsepower rear-drive American supercar was unveiled at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Aug.15.
A synthesis of flowing sculptural design, coachwork details, superlative engineering, road/race athleticism and a passion for the legacy of great sports cars, the Devon GTX will be limited to a first-year production of 36, with deliveries beginning March 2010, says Scott Devon, founder and owner of the Los Angeles, Calif.-based industrial-design company.
The Aria-Group, led by founder Clive Hawkins, will produce the carbon-fiber-body two-door from a studio in Irvine, Calif. This area is particularly appropriate for assembling a vehicle inspired by ‘60s muscle cars, Scott points out, noting that the ‘60s Shelby Cobra, a racing and street icon, was assembled in nearby Venice.
“The Devon GTX is about blending aesthetics, dynamic power, and tactility in a form that is unmistakably bold,” explains Scott, who also intends to develop elite motorcycles and other enthusiast-related products. “The Devon GTX is a car everybody put talent and emotion behind to create — a modern classic.”
He adds that the Devon GTX intends to compete with the world’s finest as the most powerful naturally aspirated production powertrain system on the market. A V-10 powerplant, mated to a fully synchronized Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, is estimated to deliver 0-60 times in the 3.2-second range, with a top speed of 203 mph, says the company’s managing director, Jerry Deeney.
The car has already walked this kind of talk: at California’s Willow Springs Raceway this summer, with an unofficial lap record for a production vehicle (1:26:00), and, in July, at Laguna Seca Raceway, also a production car record for that legendary venue (1:35.075).
While growing up in Detroit, Scott saw pictures of a 1968 hunter green Jaguar XKE and a 1965 Corvette Stingray and, from then, he has been driven by his passion for great sports cars. His family was in the food industry, and cars were always being discussed everywhere in the Motor City, especially in the ‘60s, when design and power so magically commingled in American cars.
The owner of Cole’s Quality Foods Inc., Scott has incorporated not only the sleek Jag and Vette lines into the Devon GTX, but has also brought in voluptuous influences from the stylish ‘40s, with details from Bugatti’s, Delahaye’s and Talbot-Lago’s.
“To me, cars are moving kinetic sculptures,” Scott says, noting artistic and architectural influences in the Devon such as Mondrian, Mies van der Rohe and Henry Moore. “An exceptional car creates more excitement than a flat one-dimensional piece.”
Committed to creating his own supercar, he met with Swedish designer Daniel Paulin, who guided Ford Europe as its designer from 1998 through 2004. The idea took off for both men.
“I was inspired by fighter jets,” Daniel says of his early sketches. “I wanted this car to have a cockpit feel — a long hood and a cabin tucked away — and to keep it clean as possible, not to have too much distraction from the main shape.”
He wedded Miesian simplicity to flowing, voluptuous lines — in response to the massy, almost brutalist styles so popular now, especially in American cars.
His design features “up and forward” articulating doors, geometric cut lines, a sexy, low belt line and details such as upper-body side reflections that mimic those on the lower body side, two-tone wheel surrounds, minimal front/rear overhangs and dual center rear-exit chrome exhaust ports.
“I believe we are in the end of an era with aggressive wedge and flat surfacing,” Daniel explains. “From a design perspective, this language is the start of something new, bringing the passion and sexiness back to automotive design.”
Keen engineering and driving experience also help achieve the Devon’s marriage of functionality and beauty. Aerodynamic testing is supervised by Dr. Joseph Katz, who chairs the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at San Diego State University and who has developed F1, Indy and NASCAR racecars for 25 years.
Other members of the Devon GTX team include former Ford executive engineer Andy Benedict, who was responsible for the development of the Ford GT and guides product development for the company; Jason Wilbur, director of advanced design; and 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans champion Justin Bell, who validates the Devon on the track.
“The aerodynamic performance worked nicely with the original design,” Daniel recalls. “By testing the car in the wind tunnel, you find out what elements in your original design need to be refined to meet our standards for aerodynamic efficiency.” This testing drove features such as the sleek front end and a negative rear end with three large diffuser channels. “We have achieved a very good balance between low drag with massive down force.”
Mount this light 3,000-pound sculpture on wheels. The formidable two-valves per cylinder 510-cubic-inch aluminum engine develops its maximum horsepower at 6100 rpm, enhanced by features such as deep skirts; strengthened bulkheads; large-sized water jackets for optimal cooling; pressed-in iron cylinder liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps for strength and durability; high-flow cylinder heads; variable valve timing; and a two-piece intake manifold that combines a cast-aluminum lower with polished runners for exceptional air flow, bolted to a die-cast aluminum upper plenum.
Performance is also aided by an air induction box that provides minimal inlet restriction at peak airflow and a dual-exhaust system initiated with lightweight 5-into-1 super-tuned long tube headers that lead into high-flow 2.5-inch diameter pipes.
A four-wheel independent suspension system, with components such as aluminum control arms and knuckles, connects to large 380-mm StopTech brakes — six-piston, aluminum calipers in the front — that enable world-class stopping distance and pure braking performance. The forged aluminum wheels are 19-inch front and 20-inch rear. Z-rated Michelin® tires bond you to the road.
The interior design of Miesian simplicity and couture craftsmanship echoes the exterior. Among its features are carbon-fiber-reinforced racing seats; dual grain leather upholstery and steering wheel; carbon-fiber reinforced race shell type seats with six-point harness; a jewel-like instrument cluster; an electronically actuated parking brake system; and polished aluminum stick shift with a neo-retro ball head. The McIntosh audio system, with surround-sound speakers, amp meter and sub-woofers, will be tuned for each owner.
Base price for a Devon GTX is $300,000, with options such as a racing package itself optioned with items such as a larger front splitter, a rear sculpted wing, ceramic brakes and fully covered underbody for increased down force.
A bespoke program will allow each GTX to be built to the exact specifications of the customers, Deeney notes. Devon Motorworks will be selling the Devon GTX through selected premium dealerships such as its flagship store in Beverly Hills, Calif. For Arizonans, The GTX will be on display in Scottsdale during the January Barrett-Jackson Auction.
“We set out to design a vehicle that was quintessentially American, both in shape and performance, a pure driver’s car, uncluttered by a lot of electronic driver aids,” Scott says. “Once under power, the GTX lives up to its promise — every heart-pounding second you’re behind the wheel.”
Devon GTX, www.devonmotorworks.com, 1-888-901-0081