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Gillet Vertigo

Gillet

Gillet is a Belgian automobile manufacturer, started in 1994 by former racing driver Tony Gillet. The company produced the Vertigo sports coupé powered by a 3.0 litre Alfa Romeo V6 engine.

How the Vertigo was born

Tony Gillett was a successful racing driver, winning the Belgian hill-climb championship for several consecutive years and competing in two Paris-Dakar rallies. In 1982 he became the Belgian importer for Donkervoort, a Dutch Lotus Super Seven-styled car. In January 1990 he broke the 0 to record for production cars with a time of 3.85 seconds in a specially modified Donkervoort. The Vertigo holds the current 0-100 km/h record for production cars at 3.1 seconds.

The first Vertigo prototype was finished in 1991 and shown at the 71st Brussels Auto Show in January 1992. In the following two years the car was finalised for production. It was shown at the Paris and Geneva car shows in 1993. Two more cars were built: a second prototype to finalise production design and the first production car, which was used for certification, including the frontal crash-test, seat anchorage resistance and safety belts anchorage resistance tests.

The production Vertigo differed from the first prototype in materials and design. The chassis was fabricated in carbon fibre and honeycomb materials (a technology directly borrowed from Formula One), insuring greater strength and stiffness, while saving (in chassis weight. The body was given more fluid lines with higher side windows and retractable headlights, making it closer to the first design drawings

A Vertigo was sold to Philippe Streiff, a former Formula One racing driver who is handicapped after an accident during pre-season testing in 1989. This Vertigo was modified to be joystick-controlled and given an automatic transmission. It was presented to Philippe at Bercy (Paris) in December 1994.

Gillet introduced its Vertigo .5 at Brussels in January 2008, it incorporates features from the Vertigo race car used in the 2007 FIA GT race series.

25 Vertigos have been sold to date.

Racing

Gillet is also active in motorsport with the racing version of the Gillet, named The Gillet Vertigo Streiff. Since 1998, the Belgian car has been competing in the Belcar (Belgian GT Championship) and FIA GT Championship, where it competed in the G2 Class, for non-homologated cars.

The Vertigo Streiff was originally developed with an enlarge version of the Alfa Romeo V6 engine, with 3.6 L and . Gillet increased the displacement to in 2006. A GT3 version, with a national homologation, took part in a few rounds of the 2007 Belcar season.

In FIA GT 2008 season Renaud Kuppens will race Gillet Vertigo.5 which will have Maserati 4,2l V8 engine tuned to Group N specification. Renaud Kuppens said that Maserati engine develops same amount of power as V6 engine, but it has more torque which is very important for acceleration out of corners.

References

External links

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