When we mention Bulgaria, what comes to mind?
Let us rephrase that: When we mention Bulgaria, do you think of lightweight, high-powered sports cars? Neither do we, but it’s time to start, because now there is one.
From that small, south-eastern European nation comes the SIN R1, a track-ready supercar powered by GM small-block V8 engines.
When we say “track-ready,” we don’t mean this is a car that would be fun to drive on a track: The R1 actually began as a racecar, and what you’re looking at here is a slightly tamer street-legal version. SIN says race and road-going cars share their integrated safety cage and FIA-mandated safety zones.
The R1’s suspension is a race-derived pushrod setup developed specifically for the car that allows for easy adjustment of the car’s ride height and comfort. Optional is a speedbump lift function that bumps the car up by 40 mm to keep that low-slung front splitter from scraping traffic-calming elements. Slowing things down are AP Racing six-piston brake calipers that clamp down on 360-mm rotors that live inside 19-inch wheels.
SIN offers the R1 in a range of configurations, all of which use GM small-block engines, including naturally-aspirated and supercharged versions of a 6.2-litre and a 7.0-litre naturally-aspirated motor, generating 430 to 650 hp. That latter number is attached to an LS9 motor, the same supercharged 6.2-litre mill used in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
Unlike contemporary supercars, the R1 eschews fancy dual-clutch transmission technology for an old-fashioned six-speed manual with a gated shifter. In the hands of a skilled driver, SIN says the R1 will scoot from zero-to-100 km/h in as little as three seconds for the 650 model, thanks in part to a claimed dry weight of just 1,250 kg. There’s also an optional sequential gearbox with limited-slip differential.
Appearance-wise, with its scissor-style doors open, the R1 is a bit like a wild animal making itself look bigger to scare off predators. When the doors are down, you realize the car is really quite compact, looking not much larger than a Lotus Evora.
SIN said those doors were a conscious design decision intended to ease access to the two-seat cockpit, which boasts an adjustable driver’s seat, steering wheel, and pedals. Air conditioning is standard, as is an Android-based infotainment system. SIN also claims the up-front trunk is large enough for two pieces of hand luggage.
SIN CEO Rosen Daskalov, an experienced race driver, says the R1 was born out of his search for “the best racing car,” which he feels he has created. And his company will sell you one for a little more than $264,000 CDN (based on current CDN/Euro exchange rates) which swells to more than $323,000 for the R1 650.