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Vector - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Vector cars

Vector Motors Corporation is an automobile manufacturer originally based in Wilmington, California. Its history can be traced to Vehicle Design Force which was founded in 1971 by Gerald Wiegert. Vehicle production began in 1989 and ceased in the 1990s. The company was recently revived (as Vector Motors Corporation), and is currently developing a new supercar. Vector is credited as America's first attempt to compete with European performance car manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Lotus.

Origin

In 1971, Gerald Wiegert, fresh from college, founded a design house called Vehicle Design Force, and teamed up with Lee Brown to create a new car called The Vector. The Vector was said to have various powerplants including a DOHC Porsche engine and it would only cost US$10,000. None of these plans came to fruition though, and while Wiegert planned production, it never happened. All that came of The Vector was an empty shell that was displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Lee Brown left the design team shortly thereafter, and after The Vector was featured on the cover of Motor Trend magazine in 1972. Wiegert renamed Vehicle Design Force to Vector Aeromotive after work began on a new project, the Vector W2.

The Vector W2

In 1978, Wiegert created another car, called the W2. Like the first car, it was immobile at the time of its show debut, but in 1979, he got the car running. During its lifespan, it got over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) on its odometer, the most of any concept yet.

The W2 was well loved by many magazines, and it was extensively tested by Motor Trend magazine and the British automotive television program Top Gear. However, Top Gear was ordered to not perform a top speed test on it, even though Vector claimed it was capable of 230 mph.

AutoWeek published an article comparing Wiegert to Peter Pan and compared the Vector headquarters to Neverland. Wiegert sued AutoWeek and the author Dutch Mandel. Courts cleared AutoWeek and Mandel. Wiegert appealed verdict and AutoWeek settled to stop legal bills from building.

Vector W8

In 1989, Wiegert's company, now known as the Vector Aeromotive Corporation, began production of the W8 (an evolution of the W2). Financial backing came from public stock offerings and various lawsuits including suits against the Goodyear Tire Company (trademark infringement with the Vector brand of tires) and Vantage cigarettes.The W8 was basically a reengineered W2, of which 2 prototypes were made (only one running).

One particular black W8 was sold to famous tennis player Andre Agassi. Since Vectors were hand built, it took time to build one, but Agassi demanded that the company deliver his W8 regardless.

They delivered the car as promised. They told him that he could display it, but warned him not to drive it until the final work was completed. He ignored the warning, though, and drove it hard around his yard. As a result, the car's 600+ hp engine backfired, causing the destruction of the exhaust system and the rear interior.

He complained to Vector Aeromotive, causing Wiegert to give a US$455,000 refund to Agassi so he could avoid any negative publicity from the media. This attempt failed, however.

Repairs on Agassi's W8 were finished and the car was sold again. A total of 17 Vector W8 cars were built for public sale.

The Vector W8 did manage a brief foray into the spotlight of the film-going general public when a red version of the car was used in the 1993 film Rising Sun, driven by a Japanese businessman.

Avtech WX-3

Wiegert displayed his next version of the Vector at the Geneva Auto Show in 1993. The Avtech WX-3 coupe, along with a roadster version, the Avtech WX-3R, was a further evolution of the W8 design. Only the 2 WX-3 prototypes were built, a coupe and a roadster. The WX-3 was planned to have 3 different engine options. A 600 hp (450 kW) "basic" V-8, an 800 hp (600 kW) "tuned" option, and a 1,200 hp (890 kW) Twin Turbo option, While the Coupe had the twin turbo engine (tuned to about 800hp) the roadster had the same Chevrolet engine as the W8. When the WX-3 debuted in 1993, MegaTech, an Indonesian company, acquired a controlling interest in Vector. After Wiegert returned from the Geneva show, the Vector board asked Wiegert to relinquish control of the company and become the company's designer. He refused, and caused a lockdown on the Vector headquarters. He was later fired from Vector Aeromotive. The WX-3 Coupe was originally painted silver, but it was repainted teal-blue by Wiegert to match the teal-blue and purple logo of his Aquajet jet-ski company (The teal-blue coupe and purple roadster are featured as promo tool on the Aquajet website).

Megatech

The Vector M12

MegaTech moved Vector from the Wiegert-owned building in Wilmington, California, to Jacksonville, Florida, where the company could share office space with fellow MegaTech-owned automaker Automobili Lamborghini.

The new Vector Aeromotive Corporation created a car called the Vector M12, which was loosely based on the WX-3 but powered by a version of the Lamborghini Diablo V12 engine. Consequently, some work on the M12 was handled by Lamborghini. This, inevitably, resulted in the American formula being lost.

Production of the M12 began in 1995 in Jacksonville, Florida and the car was introduced at the 1996 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where two cars were on display. Production was shuttered late in 1996 when the $189,000 cars were not selling at their expected rate. Production resumed after MegaTech sold off Lamborghini (to Audi) and Vector (to management). By early 1999, only 14 M12s were produced due to a lack of engines from Lamborghini. Vector's contract for engines was not fulfilled primarily due to Vector's inability to pay Lamborghini. It was alleged that Tommy Suharto, son of Indonesian strongman General Suharto and a MegaTech principal, illegally embezzled from the company for his own personal gain.

Financial troubles within Vector were not helped by continued negative press coverage including Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear calling the M12 the worst car ever made.

Vector SRV8

Vector reduced the cost of the M12 and created the SRV8. This new model had a Corvette engine and a Porsche transaxle. Within days of the SRV8's public introduction, the company shut its doors, leaving only the one prototype ever built.

It should be noted that, according to one story, Lamborghini took a W8 for payment for the engines, but since it was property of Wiegert, he took the case to court. He won it back, yet Lamborghini, now owned by Volkswagen, never gave the car back.

Today

After the remains of Vector Aeromotive were sold to American Aeromotive, Wiegert took back the assets of Vector and changed the company name from Avtech Motors to Vector Supercars, then finally to Vector Motors. Neither Wiegert nor American Aeromotive have produced cars, so it is unclear whether there will ever be another Vector produced.

Vector WX8

For some time now there had been rumors about Wiegert developing a new car to bring Vector back to life, supposed to be called the WX8. At the Concorso Italiano on August 18, 2006, Wiegert showed up in the V-8 Avtech prototype with a friend. He confirmed he is currently working on another supercar.

Weigert had the Avtech on display at the Rodeo Drive Concours D’Elegance on June 17, 2007. His business card for Vector Motors Corporation (Wilmington, CA) has him titled as "Chairman and CEO." He also announced that he plans to debut his new prototype at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

At the L.A. Auto Show, Weigert presented a prototype of the WX8. The car is powered by a supercharged 10 litre all-aluminium V8 with a projected output of 1,850 horsepower (1,380 kW), which would make it more powerful than the Bugatti Veyron and the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. Vector claims that the WX-8 a top speed of 275 mph (443 km/h) and a 0-60 time of just under three seconds . The car also has headlamps that surprisingly resemble the ones on a Toyota Supra.

List of all Vector cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

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