By: IOL Motoring Staff
Orange County, California - They call themselves Rezvani Automotive Designs and this is closest they have yet come to a production car.
It's based on the frame and running gear of an English-made Ariel Atom sportster, with some very slinky carbon-fibre bodywork and a serious beef injection - so serious, in fact that the result is labelled simply “The Beast”.
Said designer Samir Sadikhov, known for designs such as the Aston Martin DBC and Ferrari Xerzi concepts: “From its six-speed manual transmission, to the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout, every inch is built with the driver in mind.”
AND THIS IS HOW IT'S DONE
Each carbon-fibre body will be custom made by N2A Motors - a composite body maker specialising building concept cars for large manufacturers - using 3D printing technology and CNC milling techniques.
N2A boss Gene Langmessner explained: “Our programmers write the CAD data to a CNC cutting program that cuts a three-dimensional model of the car on our gantry mill.
“Then we prepare that model for pulling a mould from, in which we lay up the carbon-fibre panels; then we design and fabricate the necessary brackets and mountings to fit them to the donor chassis.
“We also document the process and take additional moulds where necessary so we can repeat the process for production.”
“Finally, we clean up the surface of the panels, spray-paint, flat and buff, and the car is ready for the customer - after 1000-1500 hours of work spanning five to six months.”
The Beast comes with a removable windshield, a roll cage, and 19” RS05 PUR rims shod with 235/35 front and 295/30 rear radials.
Power comes from either a two-litre turbocharged or a 2.4-litre supercharged, transverse petrol four rated at 230 and 370kW respectively.
Each is prepared by Ariel Atom specialists DDM Works in Piedmont, South Carolina. DDM boss Dave Michel explained: “First we strip the block and check it for defects; then it gets cleaned, bored, decked and prepped for the new high-performance parts.
“The crank bearing surfaces are polished, and the engine is assembled with all new parts - upgraded pistons, forged H-beam rods, ARP studs, and optional clutch upgrades - and filled with a special running-in oil for the first start.
“On the 370kW twin-charge version, we use the standard head and camshafts, after the head has been stripped, cleaned, pressure checked, skimmed and put together with new seals.”
The high-output engine is paired to a limited slip six-speed manual gearbox, and a rear wheel drive layout. All with minimal electronic interference that provides drivers with tactile feedback and extreme response.”
The two-litre Beast 300 (its power rating in American horses) weighs in at just 670kg and will sprint off the line to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds, while the 2.4-litre Beast 500, at a slightly porkier 705kg, can do it in 2.7 seconds.
SPECIAL LAUNCH PRICE
The first two examples of the 300 are up for grabs at $99 500 (R1.05 million) each, ex works, while the first two 500's will go for $124 900 (R1.31 million) a time - including a full day of professional race track driving instruction.
Miss those, and you'll have to pay the full retail ticket of $119 000 (R1.25 million) for the 300, and $139 000 (R1.46 million) for the 500, including the track day.
With a power-to-weight ration of 523 kilowatts per ton, Rezvani obviously feels you need it - if only to cover the maker against liability claims should it bite you.
Rezvani will also upgrade your existing Ariel Atom to Beast 300 or 500 spec for $49 000 (R515 000) or $69 000 (R725 000) respectively.