Spanish supercar has a serious biteComment on this story
This, fellow sports car fans, is the GT-21 Invictus, the second design from Spanish specialist carmaker Aspid.
The first, you may recall, was the 2008 SS, a two-litre, two-seater rollerskate rather reminiscent of a Caterham Seven and, like the Seven, best known for its agility.
This, however, is in a totally different league. To start with, it has some serious cojones, in the form of a 330kW, 4.4-litre BMW V8 mated to either a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or a six-speed manual.
Aspid quotes 0-100km/h in less than three seconds and more than 300km/h flat. But it's more than just a dragster; thanks to double-wishbone suspension all round, it will pull 1.6g of lateral force - which is impressive for a street-legal car of any kind.
The GT-21 runs on 19x9” front and 20x11” rear rims, over 400mm cast-iron brake disks. The front disks have two four-pot callipers each, the rears one each.
Part of its eyebrow-raising performance envelope comes from its lightweight construction; the GT-21 is built mostly of aluminium and composites on a carbon-fibre monocoque that weighs only 80kg - and the whole car weighs less than a tonne.
Then there's the styling.
Yes, it looks like it came out of the Batcave, but that's mostly because of its very, very dark grey paint job.
The lines are taut, the edges crisp and the detail work is astonishing. Try imagining this thing in pillar-box red and you'll see what we mean.
The front treatment shows a pointy bonnet above a wide slit of grille that morphs into equally narrow, projector-beam headlights, giving the car a distinctly snake-like face. That's almost certainly intentional, given that aspid is the Spanish for asp, a small, highly venomous species best known for being Cleopatra's exit strategy of choice.
The front wheel-arches are actually separate components that move with the wheels, and the profile is even more dramatic, with two sculpted hot-air extraction slots - one for the engine compartment, the other for the front brakes - on each side and dual side-pipes exiting just under each door.
Even the rear view avoids the ordinary, with an unexpectedly deep rear valance above a rear bumper/diffuser drawn in broad, muscular strokes that makes the car look like it's breaking the speed limit just standing still, without in the least resembling a racing car.
For the GT-21 is being touted as a real car, albeit a very expensive one. It has 2+2 seating, as well as a 275-litre boot, and will come with luxuries such as leather/alcantara trim, carpeting, aircon and even an audio system, at the customer's request.
There's a list of more than 100 options, so every car will be unique, and customers are welcome to visit the factory to see their car being built.
Parent company IFR Automotive envisages making just 250 a year, starting in 2014, each one built to order by a dedicated crew in a separate work-bay, rather than on a production line.
This motorsport-oriented construction protocol is not surprising - IFR got its start building bespoke rally cars - but it's also not cheap. Don't expect any change from €80 000 (about R850 000) ex works for even the most basic version.