The ultralight, super-quick Ariel Atom is certainly one of the most fun ways any driver has to enjoy the asphalt. However, its grown-up go-kart look and design are not for everyone. For those that want Atom-level performance with the styling of a full-fledged sports car, Rezvani presents the all-new BEAST. Ariel bones and organs get the skin of a proper sports car.
Rezvani describes itself as a boutique exotic car coach builder based out of California. It was founded by Fardees Rezvani, who has worked on the development of cars like the Vencer Sarthe.
The BEAST joins the growing pack of stripped-down, track-engineered roadsters that includes the VŪHL 05 and the Zenos E10, as well as the Atom itself. The BEAST is essentially a dressed-up Atom with a carbon fiber body designed by Rezvani's design arm and Samir Sadikhov, whose past work includes last year's Aston Martin DBC Concept (below).
The BEAST's styling shows a lot of interplay between the angular and the curvaceous. The former frames the ducts and vents at the front, rear and sides, while the fenders and hood show a softer, curvier side. A pair of hood cut-outs showcases the Atom's steel tube chassis. The BEAST rolls on RS05 PUR wheels wrapped in 235/35/19 Toyo R888 front and 295/30/19 R888 rear tires. It has a roll cage and a small, removable windscreen.
Despite its added body panels, the BEAST still manages a very low weight of 1,550 lb (704 kg) in 500-hp spec. In addition to that mid-mounted 500-hp 2.4-liter super/turbocharged four-cylinder, there's a 315-hp supercharged 2.0-liter option that weighs in at 1,470 lb (667 kg). Both engines are prepared by Ariel Atom specialists DDM Works and send power to the rear wheels by way of a limited-slip six-speed manual gearbox.
"When the engine is built, the block is disassembled, and checked for defects, etc," explains DDM president Dave Michel. "Then the crank bearing surfaces are polished, the block is cleaned, bored, decked and prepped for the new high-performance parts. The engine is assembled with all new parts – upgraded pistons, forged H beam rods, ARP studs, and optional clutch upgrades – and filled with a break-in oil for the first start."
The 500-hp unit gets the BEAST to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in the exact same 2.7 seconds as the Ariel Atom itself. The 315-hp is right on their bumpers, hitting the mark in 2.9 seconds.
The BEAST 300 starts at US$115,000 and the 500 bases in at $135,000. Rezvani is offering the first two buyers of each model a discounted "Launch Edition" price – $99,500 and $124,900, respectively. The car is also available to Ariel Atom owners as an upgrade package. While the car was "born on the track," it is also road-legal.