1997 also saw the launch of the Mantis, using the Ford 4.6 Quadcam Mustang engine raising the power output of the car from the 200 bhp in the Mantara to over 300 bhp in the Mantis in standard form.
To accommodate this engine the bonnet was totally redesigned transforming the look of the car. The remainder of the body was the same as the late LM 500.
In 1998 with the intention of being the first 500bhp British sports car on the market, it was decided to supercharge the engine and create the Mantis GT. This increased the horse power from 327bhp to just over 500bhp. The engine was supercharged using a Vortech supercharger combined with intercooler giving staggering performance and a 0-60 figure on road test of 3.7 seconds.
The Mantis GT was cosmetically enhanced with a rear underspoiler and carbon fibre dashboard as standard fitment.
In all 51 road cars were produced between 1997 and 2002 - 16 of these were supercharged, and the very last Mantis being built by Marcos Heritage. Interestingly there were only 3 coupe bodied cars produced of the model.
Technical Specification from factory :
|MANTIS 4.6||MANTIS GT|
|Power ( BHP )||327||506|
|@ .... rpm||5,800||5,800|
|Torque ( lb/ft )||317||452|
|@ .... rpm||4,800||5,560|
|P.W.R ( bhp / tonne )||304||461|
|0 - 60||4.3||3.7|
|0 - 100||9.6||8.4|
|Top Speed||171 +||179 +|
|Weight||1078 kg||1098 kg|
|Length||4263 mm||4263 mm|
|Height||1016 mm||1016 mm|
|Width||1828 mm||1828 mm|
|Wheelbase||2285 mm||2285 mm|
|Front Tyres||235 / 40 / 18 ZR||235 / 40 / 18 ZR|
|Rear Tyres||255 / 35 / 18 ZR||285 / 35 / 18 ZR|
Mantis Challenge ....
The Marcos Mantis Challenge started in 1998 as a one make series bridging the gap between the TVR challenge and the fully blown GT series. It offered a relatively cheap form of GT racing.
The challenge car was based on the road going Mantis, built around a tubular steel tub incorporating a roll cage with aluminum flooring and bulkheads, and covered by an ultra lightweight Marcos Mantis body. The mechanical components are virtually the same as the road car, the engines were blueprinted and sealed
In all 38 challenge cars were built and competed at the main UK circuits between 1998 and 1999. Many well known up and coming drivers took part, but the series was short lived and only lasted for two seasons.