Matt Robinson profile picture Matt Robinson 3 months ago 7
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The ATS RR Turbo Has A 600bhp Honda Four-Pot, Weighs Just 780kg

Forgotten Italian brand ATS has built a customer racing car with a Honda heart, and it's not as expensive as you'd imagine

Remind me later
Honda - The ATS RR Turbo Has A 600bhp Honda Four-Pot, Weighs Just 780kg - News

You’re unlikely to have heard of ATS. The Italian brand was responsible for just one car - the 2500 GT, a mid-engined sports car which predates the Lamborghini Miura. Largely made up of former Ferrari staff, the company also entered a smattering of F1 races, only one of which it finished. With its two cars trailing the leader by seven and 23 laps respectively. Ah.

It’s no wonder Automobili Turismo e Sport has been largely forgotten, although efforts are underway to revive the name. A couple of years ago we saw the ATS GT, essentially a re-bodied McLaren 12C/650S (no one was quite sure which at the time) with a hilarious €1,150,000 asking price, and now there’s a this: the RR Turbo.

Honda - The ATS RR Turbo Has A 600bhp Honda Four-Pot, Weighs Just 780kg - News

The work of new offshoot ATS Corsa, the RR Turbo is for the track only. If you want to take it racing, it’s ready to go - the car is eligible for a vast array of European FIA-sanctioned events.

It’s made of proper stuff, too. It has double wishbones front and rear, pushrod dampers and a spaceframe structure which on its own weighs just 40kg. The gearbox’s monoblock bell housing acts as a support for the dampers, rear wing and exhaust, “just like in sports prototype and Formula cars,” ATS says.

The ATS RR Turbo is clad in composite body panels, or optionally, carbonfibre
The ATS RR Turbo is clad in composite body panels, or optionally, carbonfibre

All of this weighs just 780kg, making the RR Turbo lighter than a Lotus Elise. It has a lot more power than Hethel’s dinky sports car, though, with a Honda 2.0-litre inline-four turbo bringing 592bhp to the party.

It’s been rebuilt with forged pistons, a new cylinder head, a bespoke intake system and a redesigned exhaust manifold. The engine - which also features a new Garrett turbocharger - hits its peak power mark at 8500rpm, with peak torque of 391lb ft making itself known from 4000 to 7000rpm.

Honda - The ATS RR Turbo Has A 600bhp Honda Four-Pot, Weighs Just 780kg - News

The Honda lump sends its thrust to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential. When you need to slow down again, there are four-piston Brembo brakes to rely on, or if you’re happy paying a little more money, carbon-ceramic stoppers.

Sounds like fun. And it also sounds expensive, but the ATS RR Turbo is not as costly as you’d think - prices start at €110,000 “plus local taxes,” which is about a tenth of the ATS GT…