Boutique supercar prototypeEnlarge Photo
The other day when I saw the new Ferrari video pitting the F40 against the 599 GTB, I was thinking about how much the supercar industry has changed in the past 20 years.
Back around the time the F40 came out in 1987, it was the fastest car in the world, replacing the Porsche 959.
Eventually it lost the crown to the Lamborghini Diablo. Three of the biggest, most iconic names in sports car history were playing a game of speed record tag.
That just doesn't happen anymore. Today, world speed record racing is not about mainstream sports car brands, and it's not about sexy exotics--it's about cars built from the ground up to take the world speed record.
They don't necessarily look good; they're not always desirable for any other purpose but speed; and they don't always come from a brand name that you're all that familiar with prior to the record attempt.
Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches are still fast, but they can no longer compete with the players that design cars for no other reason than to put some ink in Guiness.
Key to this transition has been boutique supercar manufacturers like Shelby Supercars (SSC) and Koenigsegg, both of whom owned world records at one point. And it would appear their success on the track has a whole pack of newer boutique supercar makers chomping at the bit. In the past few months alone, we've reported on sports cars from previously unknown players like Rimac and Arrinera.
And thanks to a Done in 60 Seconds clip, first picked up by Autoblog, we can add a new one to that list: Vision. Actually, Vision predates many of those brands, but since its sole car has never moved past prototype stage, you rarely see mention of the California-based brand.
Vision was founded back in 1997 and put together a mock-up of a car a year later. In 2005, it introduced a working SZR prototype, powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 engine and painted charcoal grey. In 2007, the car was updated with a 500 horsepower Chevy V-8 engine and that PPG Vibrance metallic pearl orange paint that you just can't miss if you tried.
Four years later, there's still but one bright-orange prototype. However, Vision would like to move toward production, and COO John Misumi said that the plan is to offer a limited production run.
Vision's website advertises both 630 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 and 700 horsepower 6.0-liter V-12 engine options. The car sits on an aluminum chassis and sports a composite body, limiting weight to between 2,450 to 2,875 pounds. The company also says 90 percent of the SZR is built from all-American components, helping to fulfill its promise of "American muscle car for the next millennium."
I don't love the paint scheme or the cheesy steering wheel, but there's always something to be said for an original product born from automotive passion.
Don't get too excited if you like the SZR, though; word is that it cost some $2 million to build the prototype. So who knows how much it will sell for or if production will ever come.