Monday, 22 February 2010

Dr. Iain Corness: AFG meets the Magnate

The Automotive Focus Group Thailand (AFG) held their February meeting at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, and featured an address by Kevin Gallaghan from Magnate Automotive, builders of what has been dubbed Thailand’s ‘supercar’ by some sections of the media.

The February meeting was also the AGM, and president Mike Diamente (DANA) addressed the members, beginning by reporting how pleased he was to see the membership double during 2009, now being 60 members.

He reported on the survey taken during 2009, with the main needs for the members (at that time) being labor relations, downsizing the correct way and keeping a hold on the cost of logistics.

He also noted that although the AFG is associated with AustCham, there were three months in the year in which there were no Seaboard Sundowners and the AFG was able to arrange and organize its own venues very successfully, including the function rooms at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.

One of the new services the AFG had given its members was the AFG directory (organized by Uli Kaiser) which has given the members an e-forum in which the members can update all the others as to the information regarding their business ventures.

Financially the AFG was in very good shape and Mike stated the opinion that for 2010 he is looking forward to the AFG growing in quality and quantity, with a goal to have topics during the year that invoke conversation and learning.
The topic for that evening was the Magnate P708, a concept vehicle which has been made in Chonburi.  Kevin Gallaghan, the founder of Magnate Automotive spoke on the trials and tribulations involved in building such a car, and not just Thailand problems.

The concept has been four years in creation, and the build run will be capped at 100 units over four to five years.  With a carbon-fiber monocoque manufactured by Cobra International in Chonburi, the mid-engined car currently has a Chevrolet Corvette LS7 V8 mated to a 6 speed transaxle, though the future plans include a V10 Lamborghini power plant.

Kevin Gallaghan shied away from the ‘supercar’ tag, saying that he was more interested in producing a comfortable high performance car, rather than something to challenge names like Koenigsegg or Pagani Zonda, both over USD 1 million.  The Magnate P708 he estimated would be sold on the world market at USD 350,000 with the LS 7 engine and USD 500,000 with the Lamborghini engine.

Unfortunately, to receive certification for this car, he is looking at assembly in South Africa, but the major parts would be sourced from Thailand.

Contact with the AFG can be made through the secretary Maurice Bromley, email

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Fan video from the Bangkok Automotive Expo 2009

Find out what makes this car more special than a Ferrari or a Evo.

Kevin Gallahan:
"It wasn't the start of a company but the start of an idea."
"Here we are today with a high technology, carbon composite chassis building a world class supercar in Thailand"
"The cost of the prototype build has been as high as it would have been anywhere in the world."

Did you know:
The P 708 a collector's car – only 100 will be built.
It's a true racing car.
The price tag is around 15 Million Baht.

For the technically minded, here are some specs:

Height adjustment - front and rear
Magnate SMART Instrument Panel
Magnate Touch Screen Intelligence System w/ Engine Diagnostics and Security features
Bi-Xenon lighting
Apple iPhone Supplied Audio
Air conditioning and heating
Wheels: Forgeline 3 Pc. 20" X 12" rear, 20 x 9" front

Engine: Magnate 7.0 liter Aluminum V8. @ 530 horsepower,
(Optional Magnate 7.0 liter Twin Turbo 750 BHP / 730 lbs-ft of torque)
- Custom 7.0 L aluminum block
- Callies forged steel 4340 crankshaft
- JE Forged aluminum pistons
- Manley 6.125" fully machined 4340 forged steel I-Beam connecting rods
- CNC Porting and polishing of LS3 L92 cylinder heads
- 2.165" hollow stem intake valve
- 1.59" Inconel one piece heavy duty exhaust valves
- High performance valve springs & lightweight retainers
- Three angle valve job, checking of spring tensions & heights
- Computer balanced rotating assembly
- Blueprinted Engine
- Properly sized fuel injectors and high capacity fuel system
- Two Garrett true ball bearing turbochargers - liquid cooled and engine oil lubricated
- Magnate turbo compressor housings & exhaust housings with integral waste gates
- Magnate super high efficiency liquid to air chargecooler
- Magnate high efficiency liquid to air heat exchanger, coolant tank and pump assembly
- Magnate turbocharger scavenge pump & turbo oil drain reservoir
- Stainless steel / ceramic heat shields & stainless clamps
- Port matched LS3 intake manifold
- 90 MM Ported and polished throttle body
- REMUS 304 stainless steel exhaust system
- Magnate 3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty
- Dry Sump Oiling system

Body: A full Pre Preg Carbon Fiber/Aluminum honeycomb body.

Floor: 3 Piece floor with venturi tunnel sections front and rear (including 2 rear
splitters) Pre Preg Carbon Fiber/Aluminum honeycomb structure.

Rear Wing: Optional

Safety: Forward and side carbon/honeycomb crush structures, 4 point seat belts. 1-3/8" diameter 4130 aircraft quality steel rollover hoop.

Tires: Michelin PS2 335/30/20 Rear 255/35/20 Front

Most of the cars suspension components are interchangeable. This includes: billet machined aluminum rear uprights, wheel bearings, wheel hubs, top wishbones, rod ends and spherical bearings, rockers journals, anti-rollbar blades and brake calipers.

The pushrod front and rear suspension has a rocker arrangement, which gives a velocity ratio of 1.2:1. The front rocker has a slight rising rate characteristic for stability under heavy braking and entry into corners. The rear rocker is linear to optimize traction coming out of corners.

The anti-rollbar control front and rear is via a 4130 aircraft quality steel TIG welded bar with an adjustable blade giving six positions of stiffness. Additional rates can be achieved with optional alternate rollbar diameters.

The suspension is fully adjustable with regard to camber, toe, Ackerman and caster and can therefore be refined to suit road or track conditions or driver preference. Steering is via a rack and pinion assembly. The Penske shock absorbers are 3 way adjustable for high and low speed bump and rebound.
There is a dual braking system with individual master cylinders for the front and rear with a driver adjustable brake balance bar, ventilated rotors and aluminum calipers. ?? wheels are recommended as original equipment and attached via a center locking wheel nut device with independent drive pegs on the wheel hubs with an "over center" nut lock safety device.

The body has front mounted water radiator ducted over the top of the car and side mountedoil coolers ducted in through the side of the car that exit through the engine compartment and out of the rear. The engine air inlet duct is centrally located and situated behind the driving compartment. The front of the car has a venturi tunnel in between the front wheels, and venturi tunnels/diffusers in the rear floor for overall downforce. A rear wing is available as an optional extra.

Yes: It has an iPhone slot and a monitor that will show your playlists!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The sensation from Chonburi: Meet the P708

Join the AFG Meeting on 19 February when Kevin Gallaghan from MAGNATE Automotive will introduce his car company and the P708.

A talk not to be missed!