Quebec may not be known for manufacturing cars, but a race car built in the province is getting a lot of attention at this year's Montreal International Auto Show.
The Felino, which took more than four years to create, is the brainchild of Montreal race car driver Antoine Bessette.
Bessette says after travelling around the world for years racing cars, he wanted to create his own.
“I was dealing with engineers and we were developing the suspension and the tubular frame and stuff like that. So at one point, when I stopped racing, I decided to put everything I knew together and build my own cars,” he said.
Bessette started with a race car seat, then created a sports car around it.
“It's easy to create a nice design, but we did completely the opposite to be sure that the DNA of the car is racetrack related,” he said, adding that the Felino’s driver’s seat is moulded to its owner’s body.
A team of car manufacturing experts from Quebec helped Bessette create his dream.
For now, the Felino is built to be driven on a racetrack and sells for nearly $100,000. But Bessette said he hopes to one day see it on streets in downtown Montreal.
“I predict maybe in a year, you can probably start seeing this car driving around Montreal roads — in the summer,” said Luis Pereira, director of the Montreal International Auto Show.
Every year, the auto show attracts about 200,000 visitors.
So far, car enthusiasts who caught a glimpse of the Felino said they like what they see.
“My son said, ‘Hey look, the Batmobile is here,’" said Montrealer Luc Lefebvre. "It doesn’t resemble anything that’s on the road right now, so it should be a success.”
“I like that it's a Quebecer who dreamed of creating a car, and he found a way to do it,” car enthusiast Denis Archambault said.
This year’s auto show runs until Jan. 26.