Motoring Weekly seems to have a habit of finding Canada’s “first” supercar – which suggests to me that all the developers of these cars do not know much about their own local industry! Over the past couple of months we have written about the MCV CH4 and the De Macross GT1, both of which claimed the title of being first. Here’s another: the HTT Plethore, and like the other two, there appears to be just a few in existence which is possibly more than the De Macross or MCV.
The HTT was launched back in 2007 as the Locus Plethore LC-750 at the Montreal Auto Show and it’s styling was heavily influenced by the Ferrari 430, with scissor doors from the Lamborghini styling book and three seats copied from McLaren. It was powered by a 6.2 litre V8, which was sourced from Chevrolet and was also supercharged. The 750 in the name appears to have come from the power output.
As an aside, it is often quite clear where a motor comes from when you read about these low volumes cars. If the motor is a V8 with around 5.4 litres capacity, it is highly likely to originally come from Ford and maybe via a tuner like Roush. If the V8 is over 6 litres, then it will likely be from Chevrolet and if it is a V10, then it will either be from Dodge or Audi. If the car is European, then you can factor in AMG or BMW as a supplier depending on number of cylinders.
By 2009, the car had changed to the HTT and was shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show – still as a prototype with a full carbon fibre shell. All the mechanical components were bolted straight to that shell with no subframes and the builder claimed extra strength with the weight of a Mazda Miata/MX5. At the time reporters commented on the McLaren influence, especially the seating and the burnt orange colour that was seen on the early 1970s CanAm racers and has recently come back as the McLaren F1 team colour. HTT claimed that the Plethore was declared street legal in 2010, however at a later “launch” there was no interior to speak of!
The 6.2 litre was still there, however another engine was also offered: a 1,000hp “home made” unit. Several reports highlighted this statement, yet I cannot believe anyone would want a motor that was described that way – especially at the sticker price being asked! I did find that this wasn’t true, it was another manufacturers unit!
In order get funding, the two founders went on the tv show Dragon’s Den (also known in some markets as Shark Tank) and they managed to convince two of the Dragons to invest C$1.5M for 20% of the company and the option to buy several cars at cost price. However, when the time came for a test, the prototype broke its transmission and the funding was cancelled. The company then announced that a mystery financier had stumped up the cash for them to build six a year with a price tag of C$750,000 each.
By 2012, the company seemed to have disappeared so one can assume that the mysterious backer was frightened away by the lack of sales or market desire. I read a very unflattering report about the “launch” after the issues with the Dragon’s Den bid. The attendee was critical of the poor sales pitch and as for the car, the only comments were that the interior wasn’t ready and only a video was shown of what it would look like! When they started the car, it ran for a few minutes and died – and it couldn’t be started again. There was talk at the time that the 6.2 litre had been swapped for a 7 litre LS7, so to not get that running suggested bigger issues for their engineering team. That probably would have made the money dry up pretty quickly as well I’d have thought. Unit pricing had dropped to C$400,000 as well, over 40% less than the original price.
Somewhere between 2012 and 2017, images of an LC-1300 started to appear with an “HTT” 8.2 litre V8 installed and with 1,300hp. That configuration suggests a Viper V10 had been installed into one chassis, not a V8 – and I did read one report from a reputable car magazine that described the engine as an All Wheel Drive unit! Unfortunately the information and images looked remarkably similar to earlier pictures, so it could be construed that this was another piece of marketing hype.
In 2017 the Frankfurt show car was seen in Montreal during the Grand Prix week with the owners saying that they planned to build 99 of them in a new drive to re-establish the marque. Perhaps a new financial backer had come on the scene. It does appear that there were at least two units built – one in burnt orange and one in a very dark red. One of them appears to have morphed into the fabled LC-1300 at some point. It appears none have actually been sold or anymore made since, however maybe we will see another “launch”. The downside now is that it is over ten years since the first launch and people will be sceptical that it will ever be put into volume production.
The HTT’s claim to fame is actually in online gaming as it was a featured car of Asphalt 8, a multi-player racing game.