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.

He didn't bother -- and we're glad he didn't. The Mosler's vast, curved windshield provided a first-class, front-row view of the rear-engine Porsche scrambling its way around corners, oversteering, understeering, and countersteering. The Photon followed along happily, nowhere near its limits, with a big-block scream from the General Motors LS7 easily drowning out the 911's flat-six wail -- but only for a second at a time. Any longer wide-open-throttle blasts and the Porsche would have had a whole car shoved up its engine-filled arse. In steady-state corners, the Photon might understeer and its steering might not transmit much information about what the front tires are doing, but at the g-forces it generates, your author's spinal cord wasn't transmitting much useful information, either.

We had time for only a few laps, but the Photon's speed, cornering, and composure is dramatic. The Photon is clearly more than a big engine strapped into a light car -- indeed, a decade-long relationship with Siemens has given Mosler access to supercomputers for seriously advanced engineering. Mosler has just announced a new partnership with Santa Fe Digital Media that will allow it to perform computational fluid dynamics and structural engineering on an ORCA supercomputer capable of five petaflops. That's computer-geek-speak for five quadrillion calculations per second -- or the computing power of something like a billion and a half iPhone 4s.

"Just wait until you see the 2012 Raptor," says a giddy Wagner. "It's going to blow your mind. It gets a massive injection of sex appeal -- in fact, I designed the nose after the face of the most beautiful, exotic woman I've ever seen. The powerplant adds another level of exotic to the surface, featuring twin Garrett turbos as an integral part of the exterior design. With 100 more horses and weighing 500 pounds less [than the Photon], the Raptor is going to whip the Pagani Huayra. And with the turbos just inches from the atmosphere, it sounds like you're driving a fighter jet."

And here we were, not even done being excited about the Photon yet. Stay tuned.

The Specs
ON SALE:
Now
PRICE: $394,500
ENGINE: 7.0-liter V-8, 550 hp, 515 lb-ft
DRIVE: Rear-wheel

RoyalMajesty
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
warrenmosler
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.
Sarcofaos
America needs more "hyper-exotic" and "boutique" automakers. In automakers like this is where you find a nation's soul and passion for cars.
warrenmosler
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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