The custom supercar game sports a lot of players and not much success; for every Koenigsegg or Pagani who've managed to build a real business, there's a dozen one-name outfits that show off a design or two then never get off the bench. The latest entry comes from an American designer, who's targeting a more realistic goal rather than reinventing the carbon-fiber wheel.
It's called the Rezvani Beast, designed by California builder Fardees Rezvani. Based on the chassis of the Ariel Atom, the Beast wraps a lightweight and stylish carbon-fiber body around the bare-bones track car, along with an interior that makes the Beast a more comfortable place to spend time on the road. (There's even an optional windshield, something traditional Atom buyers consider a buzzkill.)
"We wanted to get back to the basics," Fardees Rezvani told Yahoo Autos. "We wanted to get back to a raw feel, a car with real tactile feedback, with a lightweight chassis." And while the Atom is popular with people who want a track toy, Rezvani said it held little appeal elsewhere. "The Atom is fast up to 80 mph, but then it would hit a wall because of wind and aerodynamics. We can give this car a world-class design, but keep it ultralight and streamlined — make it appealing to road drivers."
By using carbon fiber for the body, Rezvani says the Beast maintains the Atom's performance with only a 200-lb. penalty for wrapping the frame. In top spec form, the Beast uses an upgraded version of the Atom's four-cylinder engine that's been given both a supercharger and turbocharger for a total of 500 hp, enough grunt to make the sprint to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds. Rezvani will also offer a 315-hp edition, both using the six-speed manual of the Atom.
While many spec supercar builders ask for seven-figure sticker prices, Rezvani says the Beast was designed for a far more affordable price point — $120,000 in base form, a price reachable thanks to 3-D printing and contract assembly in California, with a target of 10 Beasts produced in the first year. "We wanted to keep the costs low," he said. "Our profit margins are small, but our goal was to make it appealing to the average auto enthusiast." In a field of exotic machines and imaginary business plans, the Rezvani Beast stands out for trying to keep it real.