The sky is the limit for acclaimed Greek automotive engineer Spyros Panopoulos, who not only aspires to launch the first 100% Greek supercar, but also to introduce to the world a whole new category of high-performance vehicle, called the “Ultra Car.”
After studying computer programming and the development of applied solutions, and having tuning and racing experience from a very young age, Panopoulos now runs an Athens-based company that specializes in the design and production of high-specification performance parts with cutting-edge internal combustion engine technology.
The technologies, designs and innovations he has developed are widely used by frontline car manufacturers as well as by the military. This success has spurred him on to make the decision to channel his accumulated know-how and experience into an original car manufacturing project, closely tied to his love for his country and its people.
“Since we have manufactured many performance car parts for a diversity of production cars, such as Lamborghinis and McLarens, we came up with the idea to create our own designed and produced car which will have all these parts, and will be a vehicle completed by us in its entirety,” Panopoulos tells Greek Reporter.
“There have been many failures behind our successes, as we strived to find what works best. Because we manufacture all our car parts ourselves, the way to make them is of utmost importance for the outcome. It takes so much time to reach the end result every time, as all our efforts, all these years, were purely our own, based on our own research and with our own machinery, to get this far.”
The first original model that Panopoulos plans to bring to life is named after the ancient Greek word chaos, which signifies a pre-cosmogony abyss. Thanks to its never-before-seen horsepower of 3000 and other breakthrough specifications and features, it will be a game-changer for the international automotive scene — something beyond even a hypercar.
“‘Chaos’ is not a racing car; it is a city car, a car for everyday, only with more sophisticated performance. We want it to be suitable for the everyday commute and for all categories of drivers, as it will be easy to configure for use anywhere between 500 and 3000 horses,” he explains.
With its exterior and engineering already finalized, the “Chaos” is now having its salon interiors manufactured, with the aim to make it to the prestigious Geneva International Motor Show in 2021. Panopoulos says “We want it to be entirely ready when presented, without the slightest failing, and we are confident that this can be achieved. We also hope to take it for some testing before going to the Show, and we hope that we will manage in time.”
Up until now, the entire project has been self-financed by Panopoulos, but he reveals that he is in negotiations for a bank loan to help him set up the colossal infrastructure required for a production unit. Although he has received financing offers from abroad, he continues to declare his commitment to keep the project fully deployed in Greece.
“My love for Greece plays a very important role in this project. As a country, it has very smart and capable people, and if the system allows them to surface, I believe that we (Greeks) will pioneer in anything we do, like so many times before. There is always a Greek behind breakthrough technologies, innovation or special applications,” he notes.
The company currently employs 22 staff, nine of whom work tirelessly on Chaos. But Panopoulos’s ambition is to create between two and three hundred job openings when production begins, which will allow him to offer work to other top Greek automotive experts who are currently working abroad.
“Through my work, I try to employ as many expat Greeks as possible. Many of those working in the industry for renowned companies have sent me their CVs, and I know many of them very well. As our company grows, there will be more of them coming back home.
“I also want to offer new automotive grads a motive to stay in Greece. The majority of those young people want to leave abroad after graduation, especially to the UK, where they get specialized training and usually get hired by foreign brands. Why not do that in their home country?” he asks.
“We are looking to acquire a production unit and reconstruct it from scratch, so that we can make more types of cars. Within 2021, we aim to create some other city cars too, small electric cars which will be easily accessible to everyone.”
For now, he is looking forward to the moment when the Chaos will become available for testing abroad and have its first reviews published in foreign media. “From that moment on, when they talk supercars or hypercars they will refer to Greece, because I believe that this will be the best car that exists in this category,” Panopoulos says confidently.
Speculating on the future of cars, the designer believes that gas-powered vehicles will not disappear, but rather they will be, in part, replaced by electromobility “until people realize that the latter is more polluting, in its manufacturing, than a new-technology internal combustion engine.”
“At some point, cars will be hybrid with direct-injection internal combustion engines, near-zero emissions and zero carbons, matched with electromobility,” Panopoulos concludes.