Outside of a small rented shop in Victoria West sits what could be the next Canadian supercar.
Jon Taylor started Arma Automotive with his dad in a small shed 10 years ago.
The dream? To create a supercar, built on Vancouver Island, that people can assemble from their homes from a kit.
“It’s the type of car I wanted and there are a few other kit cars like it, but with building it from scratch, we can have it the way that we want it,” says Taylor.
After years of research and design, the project finally took off in the last four years, with Taylor moving to a dedicated shop, hiring design and engineering staff and creating the Arma prototype.
“This car probably took a couple of years of four or five people working full time,” Taylors adds, saying that he expects the kit to take on average a year to assemble.
In addition to the difficulty of creating a car from scratch, the team also had to find a way to make sure that the vehicle was easy enough to put together at home — which created its own challenges.
“The first big one is following the rule book to actually get it certified, and then making things strong enough, making them look good,” says the company’s mechanical designer, Read Turner.
“Nobody wants a car that doesn’t look good. Making it fast and all of the design that comes with that.”
The prototype is not quite finished yet, but it is road-legal, and Taylor and the team are using the car as a rolling test bed before starting to sell the kits to the general public.
“We are going to take some lessons learned, revised for our commercial product and then we’ll be offering the kit and then we’ll also be using the tools that we built to assemble the kits we’ll be making,” says Taylor.
Buyers will receive a chassis, body panels, glass, electronics and instructions for assembly and will be able to install their own gas or electric engine, transmission, seats and suspension.
Details on pricing will be published in the next few months but buyers can expect to pay around $40,000.