Austrian police have arrested a former racing car driver accused of a massive fraud over funding for a “made in Austria” hyper car that was supposed to go on sale for a price of 2 million EUR each.
Prosecutors say that Marcus Fux travelled the world with a prototype of the 1325 PS Red Milan sports car named after an Austrian bird of prey known as the Rotmilan.
The V8 quad turbo engine was reportedly capable of delivering speeds of 400 kph with nought to 100 kph possible in 2.47 seconds.
The business plan involves the production of a limited edition of 99 copies of the car, each for sale with a massive 2-million-EUR (1,751-million-GBP) price tag, and invitations to private viewings of the car was sent out to a VIP client list printed on carbon fibre.
According to information published in local media, 18 of the cars had already been ordered with an advance payment of at least 540,000 EUR (472.000 GBP) paid in each case.
He claimed that it would be able to compete with other luxury brands like the Bugatti or the Lamborghini, and he obtained personal meetings with high-profile people like Albert of Monaco and Arab sheikhs.
The prototype however which it turned out has no engine has now been seized in the hope that some of the money he allegedly defrauded might be recovered. It was last seen being towed away from the showroom where it was on display in Vienna’s first district.
One of the mentors for the project was car firm manager Sigi Wolf who according to local media might have guaranteed one of the loans used to fund the project.
Prosecutors said that the investigation had been going on for weeks over allegations of commercial fraud, following more than one complaint and involving funds of well over a million EUR (876,000 GBP).
He faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted and apparently his planned marriage to a blonde former model that had once appeared on the TV show searching for a millionaire is also reportedly on ice.