With most of the attention on the Proton EMAS Concept designed by Italdesign, it’s easy to forget the other Malaysian manufacturer in Geneva. No, it’s not Perodua but Bufori, the small-volume luxury car maker with its operations and factory based in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
If you’re wondering, there are no typo errors in the title above. Bufori’s new four-door car, previously referred to as the MkVI saloon, has been unveiled moments ago by the company’s founding brothers Anthony, George and Gerry Khouri as the Bufori Geneva – after the beautiful (and very chilly at this moment!) city it’s launched in.
As we know from the design sketch released earlier, the Bufori Geneva doesn’t depart from the “classic” look Bufori is known for. Sleek, elegent and very dramatic, Bufori’s first four-door saloon sports long running boards and rear hinged coach doors – Rolls-Royce style. Despite all that, modern elements such as bi-xenons and LED rear lights hint at the car’s real vintage. It’s quite an arresting sight live in the metal, and Anthony Khouri in his opening speech compares the attention you’ll get driving one of these to “running naked down Main Street in peak hour”!
The Geneva’s curvy semi-monocoque body is made from carbon fibre and kevlar, infused with Vinylester resin. The former two materials are light yet strong while Vinylester is commonly used in the marine industry for high corrosion resistance and its ability to withstand water absorption. The Geneva’s chassis is made from top grade stainless steel. Bufori says that the Geneva is “built to last for generations”.
A part of the car that already has lasted for generations is the Chrysler Hemi engine sitting in that long hood. Today’s Hemi doesn’t share much with the legend of the 1960s which powered so many famous muscle cars, other than the name and the pushrod technology, but we can’t deny that the name evokes ideas of raw muscle and heroic drag racing. Using the 6.1-litre version (6,059 cc) of the Hemi V8 reserved for Chrysler Group’s top end SRT-8 cars, the Bufori Geneva is pulled by 430 bhp and 569 Nm of torque, enough for it to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds on to a top speed of 265 km/h. On the options list is a supercharger that boosts figures to supercar level 560 bhp and 690 Nm!
Sideways action should be easy to come by, as all that muscle goes to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential, not that owners of this stately machine will want to do that, mind you. Doing transmission duties is a five-speed sequential shift automatic from gearbox experts ZF.
In terms of driver aids, Bufori’s got them all covered. ABS and EBD plus Brake Assist, Traction Control, Steering Angle Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Heads-Up Display (HUD) are all standard. On the passive safety side, front, side and curtain airbags are included alongside pre-tensioned seatbelts.
It all sounds good, but Bufori’s main draw is that its cars are hand made to order and can be personalised in whatever way an owner can think of, from the type of wood veneer and leather to holograms, signatures, badges and embroidery, ensuring that no two Genevas are the exact same. This can be done not just because of the small volume, but because many of the parts are hand crafted and designed in Bufori’s Kepong factory, which will amaze all first time visitors. Each Geneva goes through 24 production stages and requires more than 6,000 man hours to create.
The list of available creature comforts are quite amazing. How about having a coffee machine and ice box tucked between the two individual rear seats? Or a cigar humidor and a chinese tea set? Those are just a few ideas from Bufori, and owners are encouraged to suggest the level of personalisation and drop by the plant to see their car being made.
Production will start in June 2010, with the first units delivered before the end of this year. Pricing will start from RM1.3 million to the limits you set. View both the official images and live photos from Geneva after the jump!
Bufori Geneva live images from Geneva
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Bufori Geneva official images
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