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The SEight (pronounced variously as S-8 or 'Sayt') is a sports car manufactured as a kit or factory built vehicle by Westfield Sportscars. It is based on the familiar Lotus Seven concept, created by Colin Chapman, of stripping a car design down to bare essentials for the ultimate in driving experiences. Bar a few visual differences, such as a bonnet bulge to house the large engine, it uses the same widebody chassis as the smaller engined SEi. All SEights are defined as such by the powerplant - a V8 engine. In kit form they are only available from the factory as a rolling chassis, unlike other Westfield kits which can be bought in component form.
The powerplant of the SEight ranges from 3.5 litre units from Rover SD1s to 5.2 litre monsters, bored and stroked. There are also 3.9 EFi (fuel injected) versions, which are currently the option provided in the factory built vehicles, and TVR Power engines of 4.2 litres. On the whole the V8 is a Rover unit, an alloy block which is lighter than the cast iron blocks of many V8s.
In driving terms, The SEight is characterised by the combination of immense torque in a lightweight body, and sharp handling. Though said to be heavier and more prone to understeer than smaller engined versions of the Westfield, the roadholding far exceeds the tenacity and grip levels of almost anything else on the road. Regarded by many as true supercars, 0-60 times can be as low as 3.6 seconds. The factory cars are quoted at 4.9 seconds. Top speed is limited by the poor drag coefficient of the vehicle body, mainly the upright windscreen which creates a huge amount of resistance, but the car still tops 135 mph.
The easy low down power of the SEight makes it a great touring vehicle as well as an incredibly nimble sports car. Lacking the high revs of bike-engined or smaller engined Westfields make the driving experience exhilarating but also surprisingly smooth.