Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Mazzanti moves closer to production on its suicidal Evantra supercar

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April 29, 2014

The Italian-designed Mazzanti Evantra

The Italian-designed Mazzanti Evantra

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There are sports car names you hear ad nauseum, your Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, for example. Then there are names that you hear whispered every few years. Mazzanti is one of the latter, but this time it's not whispering but shouting at the top of its lungs. Its message is a big, grunting 700-hp muscle mass that beckons you with suicide doors.

Okay, with cars like the Antas V8 (below), Mazzanti was never much of a whisperer. But it has tended to stream in and out of the collective car consciousness, surfacing occasionally and briefly to release the latest iteration of the car it calls Evantra.

F&M Antas V8

In fact, the last time we looked at the company's impressive work, we were looking at the work of F&M (Faralli & Mazzanti). In 2010, the two consonants split up to pursue their preferred ends of the business while still working together on some projects. Mario and Walter Faralli went back to the auto restoration side, while Luca Mazzanti, who had earned his automotive chops in their restoration business, set out to design and build his own supercars.

It didn't take long for the newly formed Mazzanti Automobili to release its first design, a collaboration between Luca and designer Zsolt Tarnok first dubbed "Mugello," before being renamed "Evantra." Mazzanti first showed the supercar in 2011, and since then it has popped up every now and again, including as a prototype at last year's Top Marques Monaco. At this year's show earlier this month, it was introduced as a production-ready design.

We've come to treat terms like "production ready" and "specs" rather loosely when it comes to single-digit-run supercars from small start-ups. Such cars have a way of making big debuts and then disappearing for years, sometimes never to return.

Mazzanti reveals the Evantra 01 at Top Marques Monaco 2014

With the Evantra extra looseness is warranted because the 01 chassis car that was pranced out for Top Marques is still covered in black testing camouflage, with Mazzanti admitting that the camo is there for continued track testing. That sounds a lot like "close to ready" but not quite "finalized for production." Potato, potahto.

Fortunately, Mazzanti has spent much of the year ushering the ice-blue 00-chassis Evantra to testing and photo shoots, so we can have a proper look without the lackluster camo job getting in the way. Mazzanti explains that the car was styled to find a balance between the classic and the modern, and it's not hard to see the two themes hard at work.

The Evantra combines classic and modern styling cues

The rolling, three-dimensional front fenders look as though a villain triggering a Tommy gun should be hanging out the window, while the voluptuous pontoons give way rather abruptly to sharp LED headlights and a front-end sliced and diced into geometrical vents. The neo-retro styling is even more apparent when you look at the aforementioned Antas V8, a car that tipped the balance in favor of classic over modern. The Evantra shows similar shapes, but with more restraint on the "retro" side.

The F&M Antas V8 was more dramatically retro

Given Mazzanti's background in restoring Maseratis and Ferraris from the late 80s through the 2000s, the route of blending classic with modern is not all that surprising. What is surprising is that the Evantra design doesn't show a lot of the Italian curvaceousness that those marques bring to mind. Its harder, more masculine lines and features appear inspired by a different subset of European exotics, like the Pagani Zonda/Huayra and Spyker C8 Aileron.

The retro-modern body work is supported by a steel chassis and chrome-molybdenum roll cage. The curb weight needles in around 2,866 lb (1,300 kg) when the buyer opts for the carbon fiber Pro Body. A hand-formed aluminum body is also available.

Pushing that skin and bones is a 701-hp, 7.0-liter V8 mid engine working with a six-speed sequential transmission. A set of high-performance Continental 255/30 R20 front and 325/25 R20 rear tires put that engine muscle to the road. According to its spec sheet, the car reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, and the speedometer keeps cranking until 217 mph (350 km/h).

Some of the recent modifications that have been applied to Evantra chassis 01 include a new rear diffuser with variable inclination and a revamped Alcantara and Luxpel leather interior with carbon steering wheel and full-digital dashboard.

The Evantra has a leather and Alcantara interior with a digital dashboard

"Evantra V8 was not born to please everyone, instead to be herself and to generate emotions with her character and exclusivity," Luca Mazzanti states.

When the Evantra does become full-on production-ready, Mazzanti plans to build just five examples per year. Each model will be individually personalized to the buyer's tastes.

Source: Mazzanti

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
7 Comments

OMG, I'd be embarrassed to be seen in one of these.

Gadgety
29th April, 2014 @ 06:31 am PDT

I could uh...adapt.

Ed Weibe
29th April, 2014 @ 08:27 am PDT

Not that bad when the doors are shut...

no uglier than the rest of them.

I'm guessing it's just as over-priced,too.

I'd buy an original Pantera and put a Roots-type blower on it.

That's what I'd do.

Yeah,I'm sure the Pantera crowd would freak out but they tend to be pretty obnoxious anyway...

as Boyd Coddington once said on the debate that surrounds

restoration vs. "Real Steel" hot rods,

"Hey,Man....

It's only metal."

Griffin
29th April, 2014 @ 09:59 am PDT

Another day, another supercar, yawn. And it's not even electric.

BeWalt
29th April, 2014 @ 10:32 am PDT

its really ugly. lets just hope its fast. the gumpert apollo is ugly too but at least it backs up its ugly looks with speed and handling.

Michael Wilson
29th April, 2014 @ 01:09 pm PDT

"The retro-modern body work is supported by a steel chassis and chrome-molybdenum roll cage."

Um...Chrome-Moly IS steel..........

Martin Hone
29th April, 2014 @ 03:43 pm PDT

@BeWalt there does seem to be a lot of new supercar companies and custom designs coming out of the wood work lately.

I'm not sure if its a sign of the growing gap between the wealthiest members of the population and the middle class or if the barrier to entry to start your own supercar company is now lower.

It's sort of that way with custom motorcycles/choppers these days in part because of off the shelf S&S engines and parts. Pretty much any motorcycle gear head can order a bunch of S&S parts and bolt them to a frame. I suspect the same thing is happening with a lot of these boutique cars. They have no machining costs because they don't build any of the parts involved aside from maybe the frame so "custom" means selecting a different part from their suppliers website.

That's not to say it's a bad thing but If I had to bet on this or a 550 HP GT-R around Nürburgring I'd probably still put money on the GT-R.

There is actually probably a huge opportunity for a technology company to step in here and work with these companies to build a less proprietary technology center for automobiles. I am pretty certain this would be a huge pain point for these companies and it would make a great development platform and marketing exercise.

If this happens my #1 feature request is platform that can be easily swapped with an upgrade in 3-4 years with a newer on board computer because automotive technology ages better than computers. Use something like a 7" tablet without a battery, a standard wiring interface (like OBD2), and include some features like torque for android for diagnostics and performance data. Maybe just license it and some other existing apps for the platform.

Daishi
29th April, 2014 @ 09:06 pm PDT
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