Luso Motors: car design from Portugal

Automotive Design 14 Jun 2007
Luso Motors: car design from Portugal

Luso Motors is a new Portuguese Car Design company founded by mechanical designer Ernesto Freitas. It offers design and prototyping services using its know-how to develop low-cost and feasable projects. We present some of the recent works.

Ferrari Villeneuve ConceptLuso Motors was founded by Ernesto Freitas, a professional mechanical designer with more than 15 years experience in the field and an amateur car designer.

It is based in Guimarães, northern Portugal.

As Ernesto Freitas explains, "the idea behind Luso Motors project is to use the advantages of both worlds (engineering and design, NDR) and turn them into feasable projects within a controlled budget and with an affordable price for the final client."

The main objective is to provide small companies with a low cost and high quality service.

Among the activities are extensive prototyping services: physical models can by supplied in any scake, material or finishing, depending to the customer’s requirements.

The project currently involves a few specialised persons, working in the different areas: design, modeling process, chassis/suspension engineering department.

Particluar attention is paid to the digital modelling process, directed by modeller Tiago Viana.

As Ernesto explains, "I prefer to jump from the skecthing process to the digital modeling as soon as possible mostly because is very important to have a quick idea of the compatibility of the mechanical parts with the design options and sizes."

The Projects

3/4 scale AC Cobra powered car for kids 3/4 scale AC Cobra powered car for kids

During the last three years, Luso Motors has worked for private customers and niche companies and has developed a number of original projects, all of them being ready to be sold to interested customers like kit car companies or private clients.

In-house developed projects include a series of unique large scale miniature powered cars for kids.

Below we report some of the most interesting projects. Additional images and information are available on Luso Motors’ official website.

Commisioned Projects

Hansen LM-GT2

This project was comissioned by Giel Hansen, from Hansen Sportscars, in order to compete in several race series over Europe in the GT2 class.

Hansen LM-GT2 by Luso Motors Hansen LM-GT2 by Luso Motors

Two cars are being built, a race version and a road version, both of them powered by a 5 litre V10 engine, delivering 600hp.

The model is being built at the team headquarters, with the support of, an engineering company with Formula 1 experience.

John Kyle’s GT-GTR and GTS

ASA GTR by LusomotorsThis sportscar was commissioned by UK customer John Kyle.

The model was developed in three variations: the GTR racing model, the GT closed road version and the GTS open top road version.

The design requirement was to take inspiration from the 1960s sportscars by ASA.

The styling cues were integrated into a new aggressive design. The models are powered by a V8 unit.

ASA GT Concept by Lusomotors ASA GT Concept by Lusomotors ASA GT Concept by Lusomotors

Lusomotors’ Original Projects

AC Cobra ¾ Scale

Starting as personal project for Ernesto Freitas’ own kids, this model was built as a one-off, all by hand, being the wheels and tires the only parts not made from scratch.

Ernesto Freitas with the AC Cobra 3/4 scale car AC Cobra kids car chassis and bodywork
Left: Ernesto Freitas with the AC Cobra 3/4 scale car
Right: AC Cobra kids car chassis and bodywork

A complete chassis with full suspension, a fibre glass bodywork, complete electric system, leather interior, opening doors, working motor and drive components were created and built as if it was a "real" car.

An AC Cobra 289 and a Ferrari 250 GT California Spider production models are under development.

Alpine A110

Alpine A110 by Lusomotors Alpine A110 by LusomotorsAs the name says, this model is a remake of one of the 70’s rally icons.

"As one of my favorite models of all times, it was the right choice to serve as a basis to be carried out a full development of a new design and chassis."

The result is a model ready to be produced in kit form or in a small series run.

All the mechanical parts, as the original ones from the 70’s, are provided by Renault models, starting from the V6 engine/gearbox, to all other small but also important items, as are the suspention, steering and braking parts.

The engine is placed in a mid-rear position and all the glass parts are borrowed from other production models in order to further reduce costs.

Peugeot Afrique

Peugeot Afrique Concept by Lusomotors Peugeot Afrique Concept by Lusomotors

Project developed with the colaboration of modeler Jose Sustacha to enter the "Peugeot Design Contest".

It is an all-terrain vehicle in a coupe form, equiped with a V12 diesel engine, engineered to overcome any African desert dune in style and confort.


This project started as a modern renterpretation of the Lotus Seven. This racetrack-oriented car is based on a tubular chassis and is engineered to be able to use bike and car engines.

Victoria Concept by Luso Motors Victoria Concept by Luso Motors Victoria Concept by Luso Motors

(Image Courtesy: Ernesto Freitas, Luso Motors)

Image Gallery

Related Stories

Mazda: 10 Years of Kodo Design

Mazda: 10 Years of Kodo Design

An image gallery and an official document celebrate the 10th Annivarsary of Mazda's Kodo design language, introduced in 2010 by Head Designer Ikuo Maeda.
Restyled Škoda Kodiaq: preview design sketches

Restyled Škoda Kodiaq: preview design sketches

Škoda has released a set of preview design renders for the upcoming upgraded Kodiaq SUV model, set to make its debut this month.
Anders Warming is new Rolls-Royce Design Director

Anders Warming is new Rolls-Royce Design Director

Rolls-Royce has announced that Anders Warming has been appointed Director of Design. He will join the company from 1 July.


Leave a Comment


Get all the updates with our weekly newsletter!

Find a Car

Scroll To Top
Scroll To Bottom