1990 Vector Turbo.
Vector Supercars is an automobile manufacturer based in California. It was founded in 1972 by Jerry Wiegert and ceased production in the 1990s. The company was recently revived, but Wiegert has currently not produced another car.
After Jerry Wiegert graduated from college, he started Vehicle Design Force and teamed up with Lee Brown to build The Vector. This shell of a car (it had to be pushed onto the display stand by hand) was to use a Mercedes-Benz Wankel engine (as on the C111) and would have been priced at $10,000. After its debut, The Vector was featured in Motor Trend magazine, but Wiegert and Brown went their separate ways after Mercedes-Benz ended production plans for the Wankel engine.
In the late 1970s, Vehicle Design Force changed its name to Vector Aeromotive Corp. By 1978, Vector had created a new car called the Vector W2, which, like its predecessor, was a concept without an engine. In the 1980s, however, the powertrain for the W2 was completed and the concept became an actual car.
The radical look of the W2 brought much attention, with the car appearing on television, in magazines, and even on posters. One-off production began in the 1980s, and many variations of the W2 were produced, though they were all considered to be the same model. The W2 never truly entered mass production, though printed brochures were even made. By the end of the decade, the Vector was widely considered automotive vaporware, with Car and Driver even featuring the car in a "what ever happened to..." article in 1989.
In 1991, the W2 was updated and redesigned into the Vector W8. Two prototypes were made, and the W8 soon entered production. It used a V8 engine, producing over 600 hp (447 kW) and 600 ft-lbf of torque, with the estimated top speed exceeding 200 mph (322 km/h). Seventeen W8s were made and sold, but the design was discontinued so Vector could focus on their next model, the WX-3.
The Vector WX-3 and Vector WX-3R were made to replace the W8. During 1993, Mega Tech of Indonesia bought Vector and offered to keep Wiegert as a designer, but not in charge of the company. He refused and was forced out. Wiegert copyrighted the W8 and WX-3 designs, which stamped out any hopes of the WX-3 going into production. Wiegert later founded Avtech Motors and Aquajet, a jet bike company. The Vector headquarters was moved from California to Florida after the company was bought out.
The Vector M12 was the next production Vector, and the first car created under the Indonesian control. Mega Tech chose a Lamborghini engine to power the M12, and the car, a modified WX-3, was designed in Europe. The M12 was better-developed than the W8 by a wide margin, and leasing was offered for the first time. Only 14 M12s were built, and production was halted when Vector was unable to pay Lamborghini for the engines due to embezzlement by an employee.
During the M12 production run, the second crash test car was turned into a grand touring race car. It never finished any of its races due to technical problems.
The Vector SRV8 was Vector's last chance to get back into the game. Based on the M12, it featured a Corvette engine, Porsche transaxle, air scoops, and a spoiler. This car never entered production, however.
A bankrupt Vector was sold to American Aeromotive, a company in Ohio with plans to bring back Vector Aeromotive. Jerry Wiegert reclaimed the W2, WX-3s, and the M12 tooling. He also attempted to regain control of the Vector name through a series of lawsuits.
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 no one is sure if there will ever be another Vector produced.
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