2016 Rezvani Beast Speedster first drive review

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Remember when you used to order your chassis or vehicular platform, and then find someone else to build your body? No? That's not a surprise because the art of coachbuilt cars has faded away a bit. They're still out there but they're typically extremely rare play things of the rich that are meant to take the main stage at Pebble Beach in 50 years. There's a new kid on the coachbuilt block, however, and his name is Ferris Rezvani. His current creation? It's called the Beast.

We've heard about the car before, and to be totally honest we were a bit skeptical that it would ever see its way to the street. This is, at its core, a kit car... based on what's essentially another kit car. Still, Ferris Rezvani is clearly determined to bring his design to life and he's done just. The first car is a 500-horsepower roofless beast of a machine that sees an Ariel Atom beating just beneath its carbon fiber skin. That car was sold to Chris Brown. We're driving the second Beast to be built, officially the Beast Speedster, and unfortunately it's only packing 300 horsepower. The good news? The damned thing weighs in at just 1,650 pounds. Power to weight, say hello to G forces and screaming.

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Rezvani builds its Beast upon the back of the Ariel Atom 3. This is a tube-chassis vehicle that comes as raw is it can be. We're talking about no power steering, no power brakes, no traction control, and a surprising lack of cupholders. A Beast customer works with Rezvani to order an Atom, which then comes in to be transformed into a Beast. This means the addition of carbon fiber body panels, a dash panel, a bit of padding on special carbon fiber bucket seats, and an actual sound system thanks to the addition of an Alpine unit that boasts Apple Car Play.

It also means a bit of extra engineering, because Rezvani widens the track and stretches the wheelbase a little bit. The Atom is a fairly twitchy track toy, as it rides on the ragged edge, but the Beast enjoys a slightly more relaxed ride. And by relaxed, we mean they've turned it down from 12 to 11 on that proverbial cliche scale of 10. You feel every pebble, bump, and imperfection in the road that rises from the sticky rubber up through the steering system and out through an extremely lightweight carbon fiber steering wheel. Both hands are required at all times, or the front track will wander along whatever not-race-track-perfect surface you're driving. The brakes also require a hefty dose of effort to really haul in the speed, as there is none of the assistance we've come to be content with via pretty much every modern car.

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