How easy is it to build, really?
The Superlite SLC was designed to be built in your garage, using basic hand tools. You don’t
need to do any welding, or machining, or have fancy tools. Experienced builders have built
complete cars with paint, a luxurious interior, and the popular LS-series of Chevrolet engines
in less than 220 hours. If it’s your first build, or you are adding a lot of custom features, it will
almost certainly take longer, but the SLC is probably the fastest car to build, and the easiest and
least expensive to build to a high standard, than any other similar-looking car. Building a track
car is even easier, as there is a minimal interior, and will often be the least expensive option.
These can realistically be built in as little as 200 hours.
You don’t need to be a professional mechanic, or have built a car before to create a great car.
Experienced builders will tell you that it is better to begin with a relatively by-the-book build to
begin, and add features later, as deviating from the standard always adds time and complexity.
Is there a build manual?
Yes, and it is available when you initially order a kit.
Am I really going to fit in the car?
We’ve fit people who were 6’ 5”” and taller in the car. Because there is tremendous room
in the footwells, very long-legged driver (and passengers) can be accommodated with ease.
Drivers who are tall in the trunk will usually need to sit a bit more reclined, but pretty much
everyone can fit. We even have an optional “Gentlemen’s” seat that is 2” wider than the
standard seat. There is even an adjustable pedals option, to make the car very adjustable for
every driver. With seats on inexpensive sliders, and the standard electric tilt and telescope
steering wheels, there’s a way to fit just about everyone.
What about visibility- am I going to feel like I’m in a tank?
One of the great features of the Superlite SLC is that it has a very open and airy cabin. Forward
visibility is excellent, due to the wide and curving windshield that gives a panoramic view of
what is ahead. It’s even easy to see stoplights. Wide, spacious windows give good side visibility
What does it cost?
The Complete Kit is only $43,995, which includes pretty much everything you need to build the
car except drivetrain, tires and battery. You can also buy the car in stages, to smooth out the
cost over time, if that makes sense for you. Stages start at only $9995 to begin your own SLC!
See the prices page for more details.
A completed street car will typically cost around $65,000 for a very nicely finished and painted
car, using all new parts and your labor. Buying a used engine and drivetrain will reduce that
somewhat. Really all-out builds can cross the $100K barrier, especially if you put a lot of
attention on the engine and interior.
Track car builds can be less expensive, as less attention can be paid to the interior (no carpet,
insulation, electronics, etc), and can also be built faster. But it’s easy to spend more on the
drivetrain if you don’t watch your budget.
Full-on race cars are priced individually, as they vary greatly, but a complete race car can be
built for under $100K. Turnkey race cars are available from Superlite Cars on an individually
I want to use a Chrysler Hemi (or Mazda Rotary, or Ford Coyote, etc). Will it fit?
Unlike many superficially similar cars, the SLC was designed from the beginning with the
idea that the owner/builder knew best about what drivetrain to use. So the engine bay was
designed to be as long and wide as possible, to accommodate an incredibly wide range of
engines in the car. Most of the Superlite SLCs so far have used the popular GM LS-series of V8
engines, as they are lightweight, easily available, have a large aftermarket presence, and are
relatively inexpensive for their power output. But pretty much any modern V8 engine will fit
just fine, including the new Ford mod motors (and the new 5.0 liter Coyote, which shares a
similar architecture) and the late Chrysler Hemis, many Japanese engines, including the popular
Lexus V8s, and even Porsche V8s and flat sixes. There is even an SLC with a 410 Sprint Car
small-block Chevy engine with Kinsler injection and stacks!
It’s really up to you!
Are these cars really street legal? They look like a race car!
Yes, there are already many SLCs already on the road with no problems in many US states. The
street kits have USA and European legal DOT-approved glass windshields, DOT and E-marked
headlights, and DOT-approved taillights (contact us for E-marked taillights if you need them).
SLCs are also available in Canada, and can be shipped from Ontario, so there are no import problems. Several are already registered and running in Canada- please call to discuss if you have any questions about this.
There are SLCs licensed and registered on the road in other countries as well. Contact us about
your country if you are interested in a street version.
Is there a Right-Hand Drive version?
Yes, for those builders in countries where Right-Hand drive is the requirement, the SLC can be
ordered in that configuration. It includes a mirror-image RHD dash, the correct chassis offset,
and the proper steering rack and column modifications.
What about the gearbox?
Mid-engined cars like the Superlite SLC typically use a transaxle, instead of a separate
transmission, driveshaft and rear end. This simpler configuration also has intrinsically less
drivetrain losses compared to a conventional transmission/driveshaft and rear end. It also has
packaging advantages. However, they also tend to cost more, and are somewhat more difficult
That’s why we designed to SLC to be able to use a wide variety of transaxles, across a very wide
range of cost and performance. For example, at the low end, you can still get Porsche G50
transaxles from recyclers for under $4500, cleaned and setup for inversion in a mid-engined
car. These are good for cars with up to 450 ft/lbs of torque, depending on their condition. A
Porsche G50/52 from the ’89 turbo, is stronger, and will accept more power. Also at the lower
range are new Porsche transaxles from the Cayman line that are available for around $7500.
These are a great solution for engines with under 500 HP/500 TQ.
The Ricardo transaxles from the 2005-06 Ford GT cars are extremely robust, and routinely
power 1000 HP cars. These are harder to find, and the clutch and starter are expensive, but
they are bulletproof.
The new G97 transaxles from the late Porsche turbos are also great transaxles, and have
withstood 600 HP in the factory race SLC, on the way to winning the 2011 NASA National
Recently, Superlite has been able to provide new transaxles from Graziano, a well-known supplier to several supercar makers. These transaxles are brand new, capable of supporting 1000 HP in road applications, are designed for mid-engined applications (so they don’t need to be modified to run inverted as all the Porsche 911-based units do) and are even lighter than the previous gold standard transaxle (the Ricardo). Best of all, they are priced– to SLC buyers at the time of kit order– at about the same cost as a rebuilt Porsche transaxle. With all-new technology, designed for mid-engined applications, OEM-levels of refinement and durability, these are a great solution to the transaxle dilemma.
Finally, the SLC will also accept racing transaxles, as from Sadev, EMCO or XTRAC. These are very
expensive and have frequent rebuild cycles, but are designed for the rigors of racing, are usually
sequential shift, and are relatively light. These are really for racing purposes only. For 2013, the factory SLC will be running a new transaxle from Sadev, developing it as a solution for those owners who want lightning-fast shifts just like the prototypes in the ALMS and GrandAM.
Most of the existing SLCs are using the Porsche or the Ricardo transaxles, but others will fit as
well. For example, transaxles from Mendeola fit the SLC, as will the ZF that is popular in the
GT40 and Pantera, and RBT-sourced version of this transaxle.
What does the SLC weigh?
Every car is different, so there is no single answer. A really spartan track-day car with a flat 4
Subaru Drivetrain (it’s easy to get 500” HP from these, BTW) should be able to be right at or
under 2000 lbs. At the other extreme, a street car with a complete interior, lots of electronics
and insulation will probably come in at 2450 or so. Careful choice of wheels and tires will have
an impact on final weight, as will the engine and transaxle.
Is the car safe?
No vehicle of any kind is risk free to operate. But we have tried to make the SLC as safe as
reasonably possible. One way is through active means: the SLC is agile enough to get out of
dangerous circumstances, so it can avoid them entirely, instead of just plowing into them.
Really great brakes that were originally designed for much heavier cars help to slow the SLC
much more efficiently than regular cars, so there is a safety margin there as well.
The SLC also has passive safety built in as well. For example, the fuel tank is located in the
safest position possible- between very strong chassis members, in the middle of the car
(instead of being at the front or rear of the car where it is more likely to be ruptured in an
accident. Driver and passenger sit well inside the car, much closer to the centerline to provide
additional safety (compared to other cars that have the occupants’ bodies very close to the
outside edge of the car).
The car also comes with a 6-point “roof structure” (the lawyers don’t want us to call it a roll
cage) that serves to add chassis stiffness and provide some protection in the event of a rollover.
For track use, available door bars provide more side-intrusion protection, and can be fitted to
street cars as well.
Race versions of the SLC have an incredibly strong race cage that is designed to meet FIA, NASA
and SCCA regulations. Fuel is contained in a series-legal fuel cell. Use of proper racing gear like
a HANS, correctly installed and used safety belts and helmets help to make the SLC a very safe
race car indeed.
All versions of the SLC share the same very strong aluminum hybrid monocoque chassis that
has been tested in computer simulations to be extremely rigid.
The SLC, like all other cars in it genre, doesn’t have airbags, or stability control. But these are
not silver bullets- you still have to drive whatever vehicle you have in a careful fashion. We
recommend that you follow all applicable laws and regulations when driving your SLC on the
road or track for maximum safety.
How fast is the Superlite SLC?
It depends on weight, drivetrain and conditions. But with the popular GM LS7 engine, a Ricardo
gearbox, Hoosier R6 tires, and an interior, we timed an SLC at 10.4 in the ¼ mile at 132 MPH.
It’s not really a drag car, but an experienced driver, and better setup could no doubt improve
on that time. 0-to-60 numbers are in the 3.2 second range, depending on conditions. Top
speed is a function of setup and drivetrain, but with enough power, and the right gearing,
the car could easily do well over 200 MPH. The Ricardo transaxle is geared quite tall, with a
theoretical top speed of about 257 MPH, assuming the engine had the power to pull it.
In racing trim, the Superlite routinely dominates cars with much more power, due to the car’s
superior aerodynamics, better handling and braking, as well as the ability to get the power it
does have down to the wheels.
In only the car’s 4th race weekend. the Superlite SLC won the 2011 NASA Super Unlimited class
National Championship, competing against many more powerful, and mature road race cars
from across the country. The car captured pole position for each of the championship races,
and won each one in convincing fashion, leading the second place car by almost a lap in the
Championship race. The driver reports that the car is easy to put anywhere on the track, has
excellent balance, and is a joy to drive.
So far, the SLC has captured lap records at every track it has visited, with more trips to new
tracks scheduled this year.
So yes, it is fast, and we have the records to prove it!
Why do I see two different rear treatments in the pictures? Are there two models?
The SLC can be ordered with your choice of the “race” tail, shown here:
It is also available with the new “street” tail, shown here:
Depending on the regulations in your country or state, or just your own personal preference,
you may select either one at order time. Or order both, and switch them around as you want a
The Race tail is designed to have a high-mounted wing, and that is part of the complete kit.
The Street tail has an integrated spoiler, and does not require or come standard with a wing
(though wings are commonly fitted to these tails as well).
Whatever treatment you select, your SLC will have the same race-proven, aggressive look that
helps identify it as a Supercar.
How does the car get from the factory in Michigan to my home?
Superlite Cars pre-assembles every Superlite car to a “rolling” stage at the factory. This means
the body is fitted loosely on the chassis, suspension and brakes are mounted on the chassis, the
steering is connected, and the car can be rolled around and steered (but not braked) for ease of
transport. You need to supply the tires for the wheels; if they are new tires Superlite Cars will
mount them on the wheels. The interior is filled with boxes that contain the rest of the kit.
This makes it easy to load onto your trailer, should you decide to visit the factory and pick your
car up yourself, as many builders do.
It also makes it easy for the car to be shipped directly to your home using a professional,
reliable carrier of your choice. We have had experience in this area, and can recommend
carriers with whom we have had good experiences. One good carrier is Stewart Transport
at 888-737-4852. Prices vary, but plan on anywhere from $600 to $2000 or more for a
commercial carrier. Of course, it’s free to pick your car up at the factory!
Superlite Cars also has considerable experience shipping cars internationally, and can construct
containers appropriate for cars as needed to ship anywhere in the world. Please contact us for
more information about your specific circumstance.