First Drive: Mosler Photon

A stripped-down, track-focused variant of the luxurious MT900S, the Photon has an interior of mostly exposed carbon fiber. A powerful A/C system keeps the interior cool--important, since the side windows are fixed.

Hovering one notch above Lamborghini and Ferrari on the automotive specialness chart is a gaggle of companies whose exotic names could just as easily be typos. Koenigsegg. Pagani. Gumpert. Spyker. Donkervoort. They come from faraway places like Sweden, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands and produce all-conquering, supercar-slaying hyperexotics that generate far more horsepower, carbon dioxide, and attention than they do sales.

Concerned with show as much as they are with go, hyperexotics are a braggart's dream come true, and they act as high-octane patriotic fuel for their country of origin. So who's representing the good ol' U.S. of A.? Well, there's SSC, which likely infuriated half of Germany and France when its Ultimate Aero proved even faster than the world-champ Bugatti Veyron. And then there's Mosler -- the other American supercar company without a crazy, unpronounceable name. If you don't recognize the Mosler moniker, it might be because some of their past products weren't exactly sexy. The Consulier was a visual train wreck, and the twin-engine, long-wheelbase Cadillac Eldorado, as cool as it was, was also pretty. Pretty flippin' ugly, that is.

When you hear the name Mosler, you should instead immediately think of the MT900S, the supercar that the company began selling here at the end of 2006. The MT900S is indeed quite nice to look at, but this car's ace in the hole lies hidden on a spreadsheet. Buried in the specifications for the track-focused but street-legal variant of the MT900S, the Photon, is one astonishing measurement: its curb weight is a scant 2394 pounds. This is a car as long as a Toyota Camry and as wide as a 4Runner, but it weighs about 50 pounds less than a Mazda Miata -- and that's despite having a 7.0-liter V-8 engine.

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Hello Mr. Mosler,I just have to say I echo the previous poster's comments and that I feel guys like you can bring America its soul back.I also think your cars are amazing and I know I certainly can't afford one. That's why, since you're not really concerned about selling them, I'd like to ask you to give me one. For free. In return I promise to drive it all around and be an absolutely awesome ambassador of good will for Mosler Auto!Much mahalo & aloha,Steven
To get a sense of the performance advantage of my cars, when raced in GT3 around the world, under the 'equalization formulas' the Mosler's are required to carry approximately 400 lbs of ballast and the engines are restricted,while running against the likes of the latest Porsches and Ferraris allowed to run hundreds of pounds lighter than their street weights.
America needs more "hyper-exotic" and "boutique" automakers. In automakers like this is where you find a nation's soul and passion for cars.
Excellent write up, thanks!My goal has always been to produce the world's top performance car manufactured US road legal, and to the best of my knowledge the Photon continues that tradition. Performance enhancing changes from the MT900s include the narrowed body work that substantially cuts drag and improves acceleration, top speed, high speed handling/cornering as it further lowers the record lap times of the MT900s. And it was probably capable of going at least 5 seconds a lap quicker than the 911 you were following.Note that the quotes presumably from me were not my words.Also, Todd is a consultant, and not an employee, with aspirations of buying Mosler Automotive. I know of no partnership with Santa Fe though from this article it certainly looks attractive! The forecasts, visions, and opinions are entirely his own. (And the power steering is optional)The Photon offers the experience of extreme performance. Warren Mosler

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