The CFR takes shape

When the Catfish was still just an idea, the plan was to make two or three cars for the people involved in making the car–no more.  Building a one-off car is far easier than a production car–like building a clay pot takes an hour while making a tin can takes engineering, testing, meetings with vendors, buying the right assembly machines, and making sure it all fits, every time.  In fact the car went from a sketch to the halls of the SEMA show in less than a year.  When the decision was made to sell cars, tooling up for actual production took over twice as long.  2017 is now the year that tooling begins for the CFR.

This has always been the ultimate design, and was penned by Shawn Whetstone of Zukun Plan.  These “new” renderings have been around since the start.  There will be physical changes from this rendering, and that’s to be expected given that a lot of hands-on labor is needed to finish the body.  The original name was supposed to be “Apex”, for its cornering abilities and it being the ultimate design for the Catfish.  Right now the simple name is “CFR”.  Maybe we’ll call it the “CFR Apex” when it comes out…let us know which one you like best.

The design incorporates more aerodynamic tweaks, with an emphasis on downforce that doesn’t add excessive drag.  The new under wing helps add more grip to the back end, while massive air ducts on the side of the car suck hot air out of the engine.  The side barge boards also “train” the air exiting the engine to flow next to the bodywork.  The front end sees a splitter and whiskers (canards) set up to further add to the front end downforce.  It’s a purposeful look and yet still keeps the strong styling cues.

The first CFR is being built now by V8 Roadsters in Florida, complete with V6 LGX engine and 8 speed paddle shift transmission.  It will be wearing Mazda “Soul Red”, but will get a shake-down in bare white as seen in the last slide.  Stay tuned here, “Bauer Limited Production” Facebook page and at “Catfish_Racing” on Instagram as we release more renderings.


  • Max says:

    Looking forward to seeing these builds.
    Love the evolution of the body design.
    When will you be able to order the new version?

    • Cord says:

      The body is finished, except for the rear under-wing. While not mentioned in the story, the frame is getting a complete renovation. The changes deserve their own story, so we’re waiting for the final design to show off what’s been done. The major changes are no more K-member and no more rear subassembly; they’ve been incorporated into the design. This adds stiffness…and lightness. You can order any time. The new frame should be ready in June!

      • Richard says:

        Do you know if the LFX/V7 combo with V8R kit will bolt right in and fit w/o clearance issues?

        • Cord says:

          Our new 2.0 frame has a built-in K-Member and rear subassembly. This makes the entire frame much stiffer, and replacing the K-member with tubes allows for much more room in the engine bay. We will be mounting an LFX engine in the new setup (doing the R&D), and from that point on any customer can order the car with the LFX mounts. No need to purchase added parts (K-member, etc.).

  • Nigel says:

    Hey Cord, any update on this? The new design is beautiful!

  • Stefan lindsay says:

    have you explored how the CFR as sketched would work for NASA reguations? would you be allowed the safety strut/tie bar (as shown) in singlar or double, like a scca lites car, or would there need to be a 4 point cage? -(as with the catfish at Thunderhill 25? or would you see something radical like the dragster style as in the Knoop Mann special?).

    • Cord says:

      The Catfish is approved for use in NASA. specifically the Super Tour series which is based on a formula. So depending on whether you use a stock Miata engine or a fire-breathing LS6, the horsepower to weight ratio determines whether it’s in ST1/ST2/ST3 or STU. NASA has general rules for safety cages that apply to all of their racing categories, and we’ve developed a cage that would pass their regulations. It’s a bit more swoopy than the one at Thunderhill, but similar.

  • Riley Gartner says:

    I haven’t seen any updates on the cfr in over a year. Is the model still being developed? Any new pictures you can release?

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