Your shop a little slow around the holidays? Are you tired of football already? Need a little something to spice up the weekend? Stick around, Bunky, we’ve got some fun for you. Warm up your web searcher.
Most everybody in this business like high-performance cars either in person or in pictures. You know what you like and you know ‘em when you see ‘em. In some places, Corvettes, Shelby Mustangs and Vipers are as common as cats, with Maseratis and Aston Martins frequently seen elsewhere as well. There’s probably an M-series BMW in parking lot near you and an AMG Mercedes at the mall. That’s performance you can buy at the dealer.
Higher performance (and higher price tags) come from upscale builders and small boutique manufacturers who will put in as much magic as you can afford. While they are a step up, these high-dollar rides still lack a certain exclusivity. Calloway Corvettes?—a couple at every show. Lingenfelter, Saleen or Roush badges?—same deal. McLaren MP4-12C?—there’s a dealer 15 miles away from here. Lamborghini Aventador?—saw one this summer on the Turnpike. You have your own collection as well.
But way, way up at the top of the money tree are a bunch of custom builders and performance shops so exclusive that in most cases, their supercar products are produced in single-digit numbers and often require you to bring seven digits of cash just to get in the door. They come with one-off design cues and exotic materials on a cost-no-object basis. Their performance can be race-car stunning, say 0-60 in under 3 seconds, and capable of cornering well above 1.0g.
From time to time, the companies pop up in news releases, often from shows or as they presented a new concept car. Others proved to be little more that a website and a grand idea; they made the news for going out of business before their product ever tuned a wheel. Regardless, we kept a list.
You’ve likely never heard of most of these, and the chances are very high that you’ll never see any of them in the wild. Use your web-searcher to look up the companies and their cars—they’re from all over the world. Your reward is some serious eye candy to be had for very little effort, accompanied by amazing performance potentials. And if an Iceni Grand Tourer, Manrussia B2 or Eterni Hemera ever shows up at your shop, you can say you saw it here first.
Artega (Germany): GT + all-elec SE due in 2014; (filed bankruptcy on 3 July 12)
Arrinera Automotive (Poland): Hussarya, proposed for 2013
Automobili Turismo e Sport / ATS (Italy): Sport 1000 and 2500GT.
Dartz (Russia): Prombron’ Nagel and Jo-Mojo electric roadster
De Tomaso (Italy): proposed high performance grand touring sedan (filed bankruptcy 9 July, ’12)
Ermini (Italy): proposed supercar, possibly called Seiottosei or 686
Eterniti (U.K. ): Artemis and Hemera (hi-perf SUV)
Exagon (France) Furtive eGT, high-performance electric sports car
FAB Design (Switzerland): Terso, a re-worked McLaren MP4-12C
Faralli & Mazzanti / F&M (Italy): Evantra, Antas, and Vulca
Gemballa (Germany): GT, a re-worked McLaren MP4-12C, MIG-U1 and others
Gumpert (Germany): Tomante, Apollo (filed bankruptcy August, 12 + rumor of rescue investor, Oct ’12)
Huett Brothers (Netherlands): HB Coupe and HB Coupe Road Racer
Kepler Motors (U.S): Motion hybrid super car
Koenigsegg (Sweden): CCX and variants, Trevita, Agera
Marussia (Russia): B1 and B2
Melkus (Germany): RS2000 (filed bankruptcy Summer ’12, declared insolvent Oct ’12)
Mindset Holding, AG (Switzerland): proposed hi-performance electric to rival Tesla. (filed bankruptcy, Sept. ’12)
Noble (U.K.): Ultima GTR, Ascari Ecosse, Fenix, and M600 Roadster concept
Pagani (Italy): Huayra, Zonda, and Horacio
Rimac (Croatia): Concept One…all-electric supercar
Roding (Switzerland): Roadster 23
Saleen (U.S): S7 (2000) and prototype of S5S
Savage Rivale (Holland): GTR race car and Roadyacht GTS
Shelby Super Cars, now SSC (USA): Tuatara and Ultimate Aero
” SSC North America is in no way associated with Carroll Shelby or any related entities.”
Spyker (Sweden): C8 Aileron coupe and Spyder
a.d. Tramontana (Spain): R and XTR (proposed)
Trident (U.K): Iceni Grand Tourer
Tushek Supercars (Slovenia … really!): Renovatio T500 and proposed Forego T700
Varley (Australia): evR450
VDS / Raphaël van der Straten Racing (Belgium): GT 001-R race car and GT 001 street version.
Veritas (Germany): RS III
Vencer (Netherlands): Sarthe
Weismann (Germany): MF, GT MF and variants
Zenvo (Denmark): ST1