Super Car

Reporter: Jonathan Creek

They are the cars dreams are made of -- Lamborghini, Ferrari, Zonda and Bugatti -- fast, fancy and expensive.

Then there is the Joss Supercar, the creation of Matt Thomas, who wants it to be Australia's first serious contender and next big export. "I knew at an early age I wanted to make my own car and I started doing sketches when I was 14 or 15", Matt said.

Matt has worked as a car designer for some of Europe's biggest manufacturers, including BMW and Aston Martin. He even designed cars for Jackie Stewart's Formula One Team.

Now he's determined to create Australia's first Supercar business. "It's a mid engine, it is classed as, so that when you are accelerate it generates weight and leverage onto the rear tyres-- it gives you extra grip", Matt said of his Joss Supercar.

To take on the world's biggest names, Matt knows his car has to be the envy of cashed up car enthusiasts. During testing, his prototype recorded the fifth fastest 0 - 100 kilometres an hour run for a road car -- in just 2.98 seconds. The finished product could be even faster. "It will be a maximum speed around three hundred and forty kilometres or even better - results from the test vehicle show we are able to do that. Price obviously would be around five to six hundred thousand dollars and the main emphasis is going to be the weight -- it's going to be under 1000 kilograms yet have 500 hp", Matt said.

Matt's father George says his son has always been determined. "He said he was going overseas to get a job with Formula One. I said well they've got experts over there, they aren't going to employ you, but go by all means and next thing he's working for them -- it's just that you have got to have faith in yourself, I think", George said.

"The challenge always is how to take that prototype and build some cars and make a business out of it", said motoring journalist David Dowsie.

David has been following the progress of The Joss for more than five years and is amazed that what at first appeared to be one guy's "pie in the sky" idea, is fast becoming a reality. "I think the trick is not to take on Ferrari or Lamborghini but to carve out his own niche. He can appeal to somebody who has lots of money, has already got two or three Ferraris, but they don't have a Joss Supercar - so they might want that product because somebody else doesn't have it", David said.

First the car needs to set records and win races, then the ego's of multi millionaires who can afford the $600, 000 price tag, will take over. "It's very difficult to live with a supercar -- you can't exploit it's performance on an open

road, so often it's about taking it down to the coffee shop and looking at

people watching it", David said.

To be viable, Matt is banking on selling 25 cars in his first year, he already has orders for six, set for production in 2011. "We want to take Australia for the journey and it's not that we want to sound corny, but everyone can win out of this -- it's just not about a car, it's about a company, people being involved -- everyone's a winner", Matt said.

Anyone wanting to find out more about The Joss, or maybe place an order, visit the website at: www.joss.com.au