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1981 Wolfrace Sonic Supercar Concept

The Sonic was the brainchild of the alloy wheel manufacturer, Wolfrace. The company wanted to create an eye-catching concept car to showcase its new range of Sonic alloys.

You might recognize the ‘pepper pot’ style used in the Ford Fiesta XR2, Capri 2.8 Injection, and MG Metro 1300. It approached famed hot-rodder Nick Butler‘s Auto Imagination to come up with the car – and boy, did he create something rather special.

Butler’s background was in engineering, having trained at Hawker Siddeley at Kingston and Dunsfold. He cut his teeth on the incredible Harrier Jump Jets and Hawk aeroplanes, working on stress analysis and flight testing. In 1976 he left to follow his passion for special cars, setting up Auto Imagination. His closest brush with series production was the 1980s Gold Cirrus – a latter-day Rover V8-powered AC 3000ME. But with decent handling.

The Wolfrace Sonic was an amazing car. The two-seater was certainly blessed with plenty of potential performance, powered by a pair of Rover V8s, controlled by a clever drive-by-wire system. Underneath the Batmobile-style looks, there was a spaceframe chassis with rear-wheel drive through a Jaguar rear axle and differential. But for most people, the main talking point was the six-wheel configuration similar to the 1977 Panther 6. It made regular appearances on the motor show circuit for a couple of years before disappearing out of view.

It was the last time it was seen in 2010 when the original car (two were eventually built) went up for sale for a cool million quid.

Engine & performance:

  • Type: two Rover V8 engines

  • Capacity: 2 x 3528cc

  • Power: 321 hp @ 5500 rpm

  • Torque: 400 Nm @ 2500 rpm

  • Top speed: 258 km/h

  • 0-100 km/h: 7 s


  • Length: 5194 mm

  • Width: 1981 mm

  • Height: 838 mm and 1194 mm at the top of the spoiler

  • Wheelbase: 2540 mm and 1702 mm

  • Weight: 1500 kg


Images: Wolfrace

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