Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

A stretched Smart car, with a stretch Murcielago next

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April 12, 2008

A stretched Smart car, with a stretch Murcielago next

A stretched Smart car, with a stretch Murcielago next

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April 13, 2008 British bespoke vehicle manufacturer Carbonyte, last year made headlines at Gizmag for its 400bhp 170 mph stretched Ferrari 360 Modena F1 ‘limousine.’ Carbonyte is the pioneer of the HotFusion Composite Manufacturing Technology first used on the McLaren SLR Supercar, and it is the company’s expertise with the modern wondercomposite that makes its creations safer and more structurally sound than creating stretched limos via traditional means. This week the company unveiled the Carbonyte Smaaart, but it’s the plan to follow up the stretched Ferrari with a range of elongated supercars that caught our eye – a Stretched Lamborghini Murcielago is next, with a stretched Bugatti Veyron and a stretched Koeniggsegg CCR on the drawing boards.

The purchaser of the Ferraaarri showcar was Limo Dan from Style Limousines of Manchester (UK), and Dan is so pleased with the supercar he is talking to Carbonyte about a Lamborghini Murcielago to be converted to add an additional 4 passengers complete with an additional rear axle for dramatic effect.

The Ferrari Carbonfibre chassis was produced with the HotFusion Composite Manufacturing Process then the chassis was bonded to vehicle using epoxy adhesives. A carbonfibre roll cage was also manufactured and bonded to vehicle and the nine feet wide, hydraulically-powered, remotely-operated gullwing doors were also made of carbonfibre produced with the HotFusion Process. The weight of the entire body structure was just 150 kg, despite the 2.7 metre extension.

Inside, six carbon racing bucket seats plus harnesses were added (for a total of eight seats), along with front and rear cameras front and three monitors inside the passenger compartment with switchable views.

There was no noticeable difference in the acceleration of the original car (when empty), though it doubtless slows down a bit with all six passengers.

The Carbonyte MD is Chris Wright, formerly of McLaren. Chris led the team that took the Mercedes Benz Smart Fortwo and stretched its chassis to over twice its normal length (2695mm) to create a 17 feet long vehicle (5100 mm). Despite the length, the car is so light due to the Smaaart’s new lightweight alloy chassis and carbon shell, that the vehicle is powered by its original 600cc engine and can still comfortably reach motorway speeds of 80mph. In all, the build process took just 300 man hours over four weeks from the initial chassis cut to the final paintwork.

The prototype Smaaart has been designed as a promotional vehicle, featuring a 20:1 scale fibre-glass replica soft drinks can, complete with ring-pull, which serves as van-like storage space for promotional items.

The Carbonyte process enables them to manufacture Bespoke Vehicles for clients around the world at extremely reasonable cost. Bespoke vehicles can be manufactured for individual clients to lease or purchase outright at a projected cost of around UKP25,000 (BYO vehicle) and the company offers a confidential vehicle build service for clients from its factory on the South Coast.

For example, Carbonyte is currently looking to modify a Smaaart for the funeral industry by using the latest electric technology to produce an individual yet environmentally-friendly hearse.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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