Preview: Magnum MK5

By John Beltz Snyder

October 31, 2013

Magnum Cars recently teased us with its MK5 supercar. Now, the Canadian company has officially unveiled the street-legal track car, which appears to be in a similar category as the Vuhl 05, KTM X-Bow, and the various Lotus 7-style racers on offer.
Magnum Cars began in Quebec when Jean-Pierre St-Jacques built and raced his own Formula Vee before going on to create the Mangum Mk1 Formula Ford car in 1970. Gilles Villeneuve joined on to race in 1973, and drove a Magnum car to a championship title in Formula Ford. Since then, Magnum has created more racing cars and parts, and Jean-Pierre St-Jacques has continued running the company with his son Bruno. Now, Magnum has taken the wraps of its newest racecar, this one with the ability to be enjoyed on the road as well as the track.
Magnum MK5
The Magnum MK5 is powered by a by a mid-mounted four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower. It has a screamingly high redline of 11,000 rpm. Power goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. 0-60 miles per hour is claimed to come in about 3.2 seconds. Top speed is 150 mph.
The MK5 is very light, as one could imagine, with a dry weight of just 1200 pounds. It features carbon fiber bodywork, with aerodynamic touches as an internal front wing, front splitter, and rear diffuser built in.
The chassis features an adjustable pushrod suspension, with two-way adjustable dampers front and rear, and front and rear adjustable roll bars. The MK5 rides on 18-inch ultra-light alloy wheels wrapped in ultra-high-performance rubber. According to Magnum, the car can pull more than 2 g in a corner.
Magnum MK5
Inside the MK5 is enough room for a driver and passenger. Cargo space is meant to hold two helmets and a briefcase. The billet aluminum pedal box is driver adjustable, as is the brake bias from the four-piston calipers and ventilated disc brakes. Mounted on the quick-release steering wheel is a backlit digital display with built-in lap timer and data acquisition system, so you can make the most out of your time on the track.
The MK5 also features carbon fiber seats with six-point harnesses, as well as a rear-view camera.
Magnum is currently taking orders for the MK5 at its website, with deliveries in 2014.
Scroll down for more information in the press release, or have a closer look at the MK5 in the attached photo gallery.
Magnum MK5
The Magnum MK5 officially unveiled.
The first track-focused street-legal lightweight supercar from Canada promises to be addictive.
Montreal, Canada, October 30, 2013
Created from a passion for motorsport in the late 60s, when original founder Jean-Pierre St-Jacques built Magnum’s first formula racecar, Magnum Cars is now entering the lightweight supercar segment with the introduction of the MK5. The brainchild of his son Bruno St-Jacques, himself a well-rounded and successful racecar driver, the Magnum MK5 aims to offer an incredible driving experience; the closest that most will get to experiencing a real racecar.

Featuring impressive power-to-weight ratio of 460 bhp per tonne, remarkable handling with cornering forces of over 2Gs, second-to-none build quality, and cutting edge design, the Magnum MK5 strives on offering the ultimate excitement for all the senses, so that both driver and passenger can enjoy the true feeling of a pure and exhilarating car. Having recently completed its development program, including 3 years of extensive track testing, the Magnum MK5 is now ready to be unveiled to car enthusiasts around the globe.

Dual Personality

The first creation from Canada to hit the international track-day car market, the Magnum MK5 is refined and exciting, perfectly wedging itself between expensive supercars and track-day cars.

"The MK5's amazing power-to-weight ratio delivers mind-blowing acceleration in the low 3-second range, while amazing handling conveys confidence and predictability which makes it is very easy to drive fast. We built the MK5 to offer the speed and agility of a racecar combined with the stance and refinement of a supercar, without the high cost of either one." Points out Bruno St-Jacques, President and CTO of Magnum.

The Magnum MK5 is not only fast; it is equally versatile. From its cargo compartment that can easily accommodate two race helmets and a briefcase, to its street-legal amenities like full lighting and reverse camera, the Magnum MK5 can "bring it" both at the track or on the road. This reflects the MK5’s dual personality.

The MK5’s open cockpit "speedster" styling is perfect for both the thrills of trackdays and Sunday drives through mountain roads. The MK5’s "rock star" stance will make owners feel right at home amongst luxury supercars during a night out on the town.

The Magnum MK5's styling is bold and innovative. The aggressive yet purposeful design blends sleekness with forward thinking: "We designed a car that owners can be proud of, with a styling that is pure and intricate. We want people to enjoy admiring the MK5 from every angle and keep coming back for another peek. We also wanted to provide an overall experience to make MK5 owners proud of being part of the Magnum family. With the MK5, it's not just about the car, it's about the awesome ownership experience," says Bruno St-Jacques.

The Magnum MK5 well thought-out mechanical simplicity has been developed to offer both easy adjustability and maintenance. Most components that require maintenance are sourced from well-known high performance brands and widely available for quick service anywhere in the world.

St-Jacques also states, "The MK5 is easy to maintain and, because it is built to take the abuse, it has very low running costs. It can easily be maintained by its owner or by any established sports car shop. It does not require a full crew or any special tools. You just jump in and drive!"

Exhilarating Performance & Bold Design

At the heart of the Magnum MK5 is a 250hp rear mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine that commands respect as the revs blast up to its chill inducing 11,000 rpm redline. Whether you want to tackle the track or enjoy the road, the intoxicating power delivery and high-revs, combined with the drivability and reliability of the lightweight powerplant, will suit different driving styles and moods.

The 6 speed sequential gearbox allows for lightning-fast shifts, up and down, while the perfectly positioned center-mounted shifter lever provides a level of involvement for the driver. Combined with a limited-slip differential, the Magnum MK5 provides remarkable acceleration.

Power numbers aside, the performance quality of the MK5 benefits from a well-balanced formula racecar type pushrod suspension geometry, with inboard 2-way adjustable dampers, front and rear. The unequal length double a-arm suspension works in harmony with ultra-high performance street-legal tires (225/40R18 front, 265/35R18 rear) mounted on 18-inch ultra-lightweight alloy wheels. Thanks to its light 1,200 lbs (545kg), the MK5 can generate racecar level cornering grip.

Braking performance is just as impressive. Front and rear 4-piston calipers and vented brake discs offer a decisive bite, yet smooth brake pedal modulation. The ingenious sliding pedal box, completely custom machined out of aircraft-grade billet aluminum, provides easy adjustability from a simple locking lever, to accommodate drivers of different heights.

The menacing look of the Magnum MK5 styling has been optimized to be equally striking and efficient. Displaying functional aerodynamics like those found on Formula 1 cars and LeMans Prototypes, the light and strong carbon fiber composite bodywork of the MK5 provides a confident dose of downforce to help maximize performance. Developed with modularity in mind, maintenance is facilitated and repair costs reduced as bodywork sections can be easily removed or individually replaced.

The Magnum MK5's exterior styling extends into the cockpit where a modern look mixes with purposeful ergonomics. Designer-worthy CNC machined aluminum levers fall right in place, blending nicely with the race-inspired carbon fiber seats. Both driver and passenger are secured by 6-point racing harnesses. Great attention to details contributes to controls that are intuitive, while easy-to-read backlit digital gauges, with built-in GPS-enabled laptimer, are mounted directly onto the removable suede-wrapped steering wheel.

A Philosophy of Innovation, Performance and Excellence

"When we decided to get back to our roots of building cars, we agreed that the newest Magnum had to be exciting in every sense. Our racing background dictated the philosophy behind the MK5; our main objective has been to achieve an experience that is pure and as close to driving a true racecar, in a simple to use and easy to drive platform," says Bruno St-Jacques.

The purpose has evolved but the philosophy remains the same. The “St-Jacques” meticulous attention to details and the high level of craftsmanship can be seen in every aspect of the Magnum MK5. Beautiful and well-thought out components that have been precision CNC-machined out of aircraft grade aluminum are displayed like pieces of art. Benefitting from Magnum’s immense expertise in machining components for different fields, including motorsport, for well over 45 years, the car is as beautiful under its skin as it is on the outside.

Bruno St-Jacques is quick to emphasize: "We only work with the best people in the business and we source only the best components. We are driven by excellence and believe it is of the utmost importance to offer our customers a product that does not compromise on quality, performance, or safety. We pride ourselves on offering a high-end product that surpasses expectations."

Delivering Awesomeness

Privately shown to interested parties within the last few months, the Magnum MK5 has already raised attention, from its very competitive on-track performance and its out-of-the-box styling. With pre-orders already taken, Magnum MK5's will be built on order at an initial annual production rate of 20 cars. Deliveries are projected to start by late 2014.

The Magnum MK5 price will start at $139,000 USD (excluding taxes and delivery). The base price includes many features such as carbon-fiber bodywork and seats, removable racing steering wheel, data-logger system, cockpit adjustable brake bias, rear-view camera & monitor, 6-point racing harnesses, fully adjustable racing dampers and anti-roll bars, ultra-high performance tires, 18-inch ultra-lightweight alloy wheels, and limited-slip differential.

Optional features including a variety of street and track packages will also be offered so that MK5 owners can personalize their car.

The MK5 is available for order as of today, October 30, 2013.


Power-to-weight ratio: 460 bhp per tonne
0-100 km/h (0-60 MPH): 3.2 second
Maximum speed: 240 km/h (150 MPH)
Handling: Over 2Gs of lateral force

Type: 4-Cylinder
Power: 250 bhp
Redline: 11,000 rpm
Configuration: Rear mid-mounted, rear wheel drive
Transmission: 6-speed sequential gearbox with reverse
Differential: Limited-slip

Bodywork: Carbon-fiber composite, easily removable front and rear sections.
Functional aerodynamics: Internal front wing, front splitter, flat underbody, rear diffuser
Cargo area: Fits two helmets and a briefcase
Fuel tank capacity: 35 liters
Fuel filler: Lockable billet aluminum
Length: 3,914 mm (154.1 in)
Width: 1,884 mm (74.2 in)
Height: 1,069 mm (42.1 in)
Dry Weight: 1,200 lbs (545 kg)

Type: Adjustable pushrod activated, double unequal length a-arms, front & rear
Dampers: Inboard, two-way adjustable, front & rear
Anti-roll bars: Adjustable, front & rear

Tires: Ultra-high performance, road-legal, 225/40R18 front & 265/35R18 rear
Wheels: 18", ultra-light alloy, front & rear
Brake calipers: 4-piston calipers, radial mount, front & rear
Brake discs: Ventilated discs, with CNC-machined aluminum hubs, front & rear
Brake bias: Cockpit adjustable
Pedal box: Custom CNC-machined hand operated sliding adjustable

Gauges: Steering wheel mounted backlit digital dash-display, with integrated laptimer and data acquisition system
Steering wheel: Weather resistant suede, with quick release
Seats: Carbon fiber composites
Harness: 6-point, racing-type
Accessory: Rear-view monitor & camera

About Magnum | A History of Success

Created in 1968, Magnum Cars has made a name for itself in the motorsport world building open-wheel formula cars. Magnum racecars have been driven to success by several different drivers, including Formula 1 legend-to-be Gilles Villeneuve.

For more than four decades, Magnum's expertise has also been applied to developing and fabricating specialized parts for many kinds of vehicles from all levels of racing. With an impeccable reputation for precision work, original founder Jean-Pierre St-Jacques and the Magnum team were highly regarded by many, including Formula 1 teams, working with the likes of Lotus, AGS, Larousse, Williams, and Renault, to name a few, during the Canadian F1 GP weekends over the years.

Today, Magnum is making a statement with its latest project. With well-rounded and successful race car driver Bruno St-Jacques now at the helm, Magnum is entering a new segment of the specialized automotive world with a strong vision and focus: to offer an awesome driving experience and innovate in the lightweight supercar category using the latest technologies, techniques and materials, bold styling and a forward thinking mindset to pioneer a refined and innovative driving platform.