5 Forgotten Exotics That Need More Attention
I really like obscure cars, and traditionally, I lean more towards microcars and little cars no one cares about. But today, I thought I would venture into the supercar area, and see what treasures I can dig up.
Via Laraki Motors
The Laraki Epitome is a Moroccan supercar designed by Abdesslam Laraki. The car made its debut at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concourse d' Elegance. I think the front end of the car looks awesomely aggressive, and the rear looks a little bit like a Lykan. I quite like the design.
The aptly named Epitome is powered by a twin turbocharged, General Motors sourced 7.0L V8 that producing a monstrous 1,200 horsepower. But, there is a special second gas tank for a special fuel, 110 Octane. On 110 Octane, this car supposedly makes 1,750 horsepower.
The Moroccan supercar has a curb weight 2,800 lbs, which combined with the insane amount of horsepower, would make for a pretty thrilling ride inside. Speaking of the chassis (kinda), the Laraki is based on a Corvette C6 platform. This may sound bad for a car with an asking price of $2 million, but it has a custom body and interior (obviously). Only nine examples of the Laraki were ever produced.
Pontiac Solstice SD-90 Concept
Via General Motors
The SD-90 concept was unveiled for the 2007 model year at that year's SEMA show. Now, it may not seem like an exotic when one takes a look at the engine, a 2.0L turbocharged, direct-injected Ecotec engine making only 290 horsepower. But, it is clearly performance oriented, and a driver's car. It even has a 5-speed manual to go with that Ecotec engine.
The performance features on this car are immense. Obviously, there is no roof to shield the driver, which may be beneficial since the driver can hear the Solo Performance cat-back exhaust. The windshield works for the only occupant of the vehicle, who must climb into the car since the doors don't open. The suspension is modified for performance, having a KW Automotive coilover system. 13 inch rotors help the SD-90 come to a stop. Some miscellaneous features include a slight tint on the headlights, forged 19 inch wheels with racing tires, a removable steering wheel, and a nice rear spoiler.
1998 Audi R8R LMP Concept
The Audi R8R LMP was developed when Audi was beginning research to enter the 24 Hours of LeMans Race. The car was designed by Michael Pfadenhauer and Wolfgang Appel, and the LeMans prototype was built by Dallara.
The R8R was powered by a 3.6L twin turbo Audi V8. To feed this monster engine, air vents were added in the hood and nose to feed the turbochargers, and air vents on the side allowed are to escape from the wheel well.
Venturi 400 GT
The Venturi 400 GT was a French supercar produced from 1994 to 1997 by French manufacturer Venturi (obviously). 15 street legal variants were made, with about 73 being built for racing purposes. The racing variants were dubbed the Venturi 400 Trophy, or simply the Venturi Trophy.
The 400GT was unveiled in 1994 at the company's headquarters in France. The car was showcased by a French racing driver named Henri Pescaloro. The 400 was powered by a V6 developed by Volvo, Renault, and Peugeot in a team effort, and made about 400 brake horsepower. The car came standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, as well as carbon ceramic brakes. The car weighs about 2700 lbs. A recent example sold for about $150,000.
The prototype for the Dome Zero was completed in 1978, with construction beginning in 1976. It was unveiled at the 48th Geneva Auto Show in 1978. The car was originally designed by Minoru Hyashi, who wanted the car to compete in the 24 Hours of LeMans. He had plans to release a few to be put up for sale in Japan, but wasn't able to because the car didn't fit any of the regulations.
The Dome Zero was powered by the same nissan engine put in the 280Z and 280ZX; that engine being the 2.8L straight six making a whopping 143 horsepower. That may not seem like a ton, but the car only weighed 2,028 pounds. The 2.8L was paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.