18/01/2005 - 21:00

Kitted Magna a hard charger

18/01/2005 - 21:00

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SUPERCHARGER manufacturer Australian Automotive Components has unveiled a prototype of the Mitsubishi Magna all-wheel drive that it hopes will lead to a manufacturing deal with the Japanese car maker.

Kitted Magna a hard charger

SUPERCHARGER manufacturer Australian Automotive Components has unveiled a prototype of the Mitsubishi Magna all-wheel drive that it hopes will lead to a manufacturing deal with the Japanese car maker.

Malaga-based AAC is also in the process of acquiring an automotive engineering firm in a deal that will double its size.

AAC’s prototype of the supercharged all-wheel drive Magna debuted on January 18 to motoring journalists and will be on display at the Melbourne Motor Show in March.

The supercharger upgrade kits will go on sale to the public in February. It is expected they will cost between $6,000 and $7,000 with installation.

AAC managing director Anthony Hamilton said he hoped the Magna prototype would lead to an arrange-ment that would have Magna buyers being able to get the supercharger kit installed at Mitsubishi dealerships.

He said AAC had been approached by “an interested party”, but refused to reveal who, to produce the Magna prototype.

“The all-wheel-drive Magna was thought to be underpowered, so we’ve improved that a bit,” Mr Hamilton said.

“This was engineered as a drivable car and it had to be ADR compliant. It’s not the kind of car that will intimidate people.”

AAC already has a deal in place with MG Australia, the Australian distributor of the British marque, to have MG dealers fit its supercharger to the MG ZT model.

MG ZT buyers wanting the upgrade pay $9,000.

“We were approached by MG Australia to see if we could improve the performance of the MG ZT,” Mr Hamilton said.

“That model wasn’t seen to be powerful enough, although it handled well. We supercharged it to meet the needs of MG Australia and essentially that car is on sale now.”

Mr Hamilton said the supercharged MG was being evaluated by MG in the UK.

Besides the Magna and MG ZT prototypes, AAC is working towards securing contracts with other car makers both in Australia and internationally.

It continues to supply the makers of the Bullet Supercar – an MX5 with a Sprintex supercharged V8 engine – and has sold about 10,000 units of a supercharger kit it makes for Toyotas.

The company is also working on a supercharged prototype of a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Mr Hamilton said the engineering business that AAC was acquiring was in the automotive field.

“The acquisition should be finalised within the next eight weeks,” he told WA Business News.

AAC is a private company and its other main director, Anthony Apedaile, is based in Hong Kong.

The company has attracted shareholders from around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK and Cyprus.

It bought the Sprintex technology from Advanced Engine Compo-nents, a listed WA company once linked to NewTel boss Peter Malone.

Mr Hamilton was a former managing director of AEC.

AEC bought the Sprintex technology from a Scottish firm. However, the superchargers have undergone several generations of improvement since then.

The superchargers are their fourth incarnation.

Mr Hamilton said AAC had already raised $2 million and would probably need a further $2.5 million.

Besides its supercharging operation, the company also has options to purchase a US spark plug technology called Pyrostar and an engine valve management technology.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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