What are billed as the fastest street-legal cars in the U.S. are to be built at Purdue University’s Discovery Park District, marking the first time an automaker has launched a new facility in Indiana since Honda opened a plant in 2006.
Keating Supercars is to produce its new Viperia Berus on the campus in West Lafayette. The Berus has a top speed greater than 240 mph (384 km/h) and will sell for between $180,000 and $250,000.
The cars assembled at Purdue will be sold in the U.S. and Asia and are expected to be available in November. Keating plans to ramp up production to about 100 cars a year over the next 12 to 18 months.
The cars will be assembled at Purdue as part of a collaboration that includes Purdue Motorsports’ STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – program, working with a similar automotive STEM program developing in the U.K.
Students from the University of Bolton in England and Purdue University will be directly involved in the assembly of the cars.
Keating Supercars CEO Tony Keating says having a showroom on the campus of Purdue University, known for its outstanding engineering programs, STEM and overall academic excellence, is a perfect fit for the company.
“I’m especially pleased Purdue will be collaborating with my alma mater, the University of Bolton, on a STEM program,” he says in a statement.
For each car sold, Keating will donate $30,000 to support automotive STEM-based education.
Purdue President Mitch Daniels says it’s an opportunity for students to get hands-on training in engineering, technology and other fields by working with a company known for power and performance.
“Having Purdue and Bolton students work together to help assemble a Keating supercar increases their engagement and lays a strong foundation to excite our next generation of engineers, technologists and business professionals,” says James Caruthers, a professor of chemical engineering at Purdue.