April 5, 2010, - 12:13 pm
As a kid my favorite sports car was a DeLorean. One of my schoolmates’ parents drove one and I used to marvel as I saw its gullwing doors open from the low silver stainless steel sleekness. My schoolmate, Jill, told me her parents thought it was a headache because they couldn’t open the car doors in a normal-sized garage. But who cares? That was part of the fantasy.
Now, I have a new fave sports car. And it’s American, too. The Rapier SL-C (for Superlight Coupe). If you’ve never heard of Rapier Automotive, that’s because it’s a relatively new company. (And, in case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with the old Sunbeam Rapier cars.) Based in Boston, it planned its flagship offering for the last five years. It’s got the gull-wing doors of the DeLorean . . . and gull-wing everything else. It looks a little like a Formula One race car (and does use some Indy-style mechanisms), and I don’t care for the red “look-at-me” version. But in black, it’s sharp–like something Batman would drive. In fact, the black version looks a lot like the Batmobile.
So what’s the damage for this cool new car?
At $179,000 and up, it’s out of my price range, but still relatively cheap compared to European sports cars (such as a Lamborghini or Ferrari). But if you want one, you have to be patient. Rapiers take nine months to build, and they are built to the buyer’s specifications, including floor level, headroom clearance, steering, pedal position, seat size, etc. You can also choose between three V8 engines. It weighs about 1,000 pounds less than a corvette.
More from Rapier’s press release:
The majority of the Rapier Superlight is hand-built around the dimensions of the buyer; floor level, headroom clearance, steeling and pedal position, even the seat size… the entire car is built to the owners’ unique specifications. Many of the components start as a bare block of aluminum and spend the first 50-60 hours coming to life on a CNC machine. The suspension is by Indy-style pushrod actuated coil-over shock units, of which the rear ones are arranged longitudinally.
Rapier Automotive has incorporated superior components from around the globe to finish off the Superlight; a complete Aeromotive Fuel System, QA1 Aluminum Double Adjustable Shocks, CCW Wheels and Alpine, Pioneer, & Beltronics entertainment electronics.
A test drive can be arranged out of Boston with one of two shows cars, chassis number one and chassis number two. If after the test drive a buyer wishes to place a 50 percent deposit towards the purchase of a SL-C, which start at the comparatively reasonable price of $179,000, Rapier will pay for the entire trip to the New England-based city. Rapier Automotive offers a very competitive payment plan that will allow its customers to have the car completely paid off by the time the car is ready for delivery, approximately nine months later.
Besides the fourteen diverse exterior colors and hand-stitched leather and optional carbon fiber inserts for the interior, the Rapier also offers a plethora of sound system interfaces and wheel options that come in chrome, gloss, satin black or painted to match to the rest of the car. The DigiDash display puts all the pertinent information in the driver’s face and keeps track of an assortment of vital statistics and analytics; allowing the owner to do everything from optimizing the engine tuning to simply keeping track of his or her lap times.
No idea what the gas mileage is on this thing, but you don’t buy a car like this for its fuel efficiency.
I like it. Whaddya think? If not this one, what’s your fantasy sports car, and why?
Yes, I know times are tough. But it’s always fun to dream.
Tags: American, American Made, Boston, cars, Rapier, Rapier Automotive, SL-C, sports cars, Superlight Coupe