Czinger Vehicles will disrupt the automotive industry

They're not just another vaporware hypercar manufacturer.

1y ago
62K

They usually have nothing to show for except empty power figures and an LS under the hood.

Czinger Vehicles burst onto the automotive scene seemingly out of nowhere last weekend. Their media blitz included articles from Forbes, CNET, Business Insider, and others; as well as in-depth videos from Top Gear and Shmee150. They spent months stockpiling epic footage and gorgeous photos to showcase the 21C in all its glory. In one weekend, after nearly a year of work, an entire brand was born.

Media attention is great, but rarely do these sorts of companies do more than just hype up their brand. They usually have nothing to show for all the hullabaloo except empty power figures and a dummy vehicle with an LS under the hood. However, Czinger isn't "these sorts of companies". They've not only manufactured several working vehicles, but they've also developed their own in house engine instead of relying on a crate engine from another manufacturer. The 2.88 liter twin-turbo V8 (yes, a V8) will be one of the smallest V8s produced in decades. The unit on its own produces 950hp to the rear wheels, but it's also assisted by a high output KERS system at the front wheels; bringing total system output to 1250hp.

a claimed 0-400-0 of 29 seconds; which would beat the Koenigsegg Regera

These power figures produce eye-watering statistics. Zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds, an 8.3 second quarter mile, and a claimed 0 to 400 kmh to 0 of 29 seconds; which would beat Koenigsegg Regera's recond by over two and a half seconds! Impressive statistics, certainly, but for now they're just numbers.

What reeled me in was the way Czinger manufactures these vehicles. Typically automakers invest millions of dollars in tooling to produce assembly lines that manufacture specific parts and vehicles. This works great if you build hundreds of thousands of vehicles, but the return on investment (ROI) isn't enough to produce a low volume vehicle. This also means that instead of investing millions of dollars in the vehicle itself, that money is directed towards building it. This leads to slower innovation in the automotive space and means a lot of vehicles have to be built to reuse parts from other vehicles.

Czinger builds each vehicle modularly, using 3D printed parts made of proprietary metallic alloys.

Czinger eschews traditional automotive manufacturing processes and produces vehicles using what it calls an "automated unit". It's basically a space where a group of robots can be programmed to build a certain vehicle, while an adjacent space builds another vehicle. If one space experiences a malfunction, its easy to switch the other unit to pick up the down unit's slack simply by changing the program it's running.

The manufacturing advances don't stop there. Czinger builds each vehicle modularly, using 3D printed parts made of proprietary metallic alloys. These 3D printed parts are produced at the same rate it takes to produce their cast equivalent, while allowing for minor improvements to those pieces that wouldn't be as easy with cast molds. This means if a Czinger vehicle experiences a crash or other damage, it's cheap and easy to replace that part and keep the vehicle on the road.

At this point I was convinced. Czinger performed a masterful media blitz and backed it up with finished vehicles, a proprietary engine, revolutionary but proven manufacturing technology, and an already established dealership network. They were the real deal and I wanted to learn more about them. I reached out to Jens Sverdrup, the Chief Commercial Officer of Czinger Vehicles, to learn more about Czinger and what the future holds for the young and exciting brand. He happily obliged, so I sent him some questions over email.

Chris Turek (CT):

Let’s start off with some background. What was the reason for Czinger’s inception?

Jens Sverdrup (JS):

Its inception goes back a few years ago, when our Founder Kevin Czinger was CEO of a US EV company called CODA. When he was in China, he saw the birth of a Gigafactory and realised there and then how bad EVs were for the planet. Not only do they use large quantities of real estate, but during mining they pull filthy and poisonous materials out of the ground.

Liberating Czinger from the constraints of archaic production methods through additive manufacturing allows for a dramatically shortened development runway

Kevin saw that, realised that electric vehicles and large factories weren’t the future and looked at new methods of production; for drivetrains and to improve manufacturing as a whole. It was then, around 2014, that the idea of additive manufacturing methods, and tool-less, fixtureless assembly was born. In 2017, Czinger produced its first proof of concept.

It could be said that the additive manufacturing methods were the foundation of Czinger. Old school tooling methods invented by Buddsteel 100 years or so ago, has made the automotive industry rely on massive investments in tooling and platforms, which in turn has led to lack of innovation due to the sheer investment needed for tooling. Liberating Czinger from the constraints of archaic production methods through additive manufacturing allows for a dramatically shortened development runway and opens the door to endless creativity without dependence on production volume.

The Czinger brand represents this technology to the extreme. We are using whatever material and method is best for the application, while making sure the vehicle beneath the carbon panels looks like the inside of a swiss watch. This is very time consuming, which you’ll appreciate when you see these cars. We use pre-reg hand laid carbon where that’s best, 3D printed titanium, our own proprietary high-performance alloys (only we use these – we invented them!) or Inconel where we need to (engine and heat-sensitive areas). It’s all about extracting maximum performance and creative freedom.

Kevin was born into a car family and had several brothers working as mechanics and with racing. He was involved in racing and hot rodding from a very young age, so I guess you can say this is the ultimate space age hot rod hypercar built with the most advanced tools available to mankind.

CT:

What does Czinger aim to bring to the automotive landscape?

A sustainably built yet resilient brand using artisan engineering to produce next level performance.

JS:

A 21st century craftsmanship and intelligence. Innovation, creativity, disruption and a renewal of the automotive industry. A sustainably built yet resilient brand using artisan engineering to produce next level performance.

CT:

What vision do you have for the Czinger brand?

JS:

Czinger is more than a hypercar, although we will aways have one in our line up to push the boundaries of whats’ possible in technology, performance, quality and design. I want to build a ultra-high performance supercar and luxury car brand with a complete line up that focuses on an iconic design language, extreme class-leading performance, and continues to push the boundaries of technology and engineering artistry.

CT:

What market segments does Czinger aim to compete in?

JS:

We want to create best-in-class vehicles in the hypercar, supercar, and luxury performance car segment.

CT:

Will Czinger produce a fully electric vehicle?

The emissions during the entire lifecycle of a vehicle should be taken into account, instead of solely focusing on what comes out of the tailpipe

JS:

Never say never, but we are fully capable of building true zero emission ICE hybrid powertrains utilizing existing infrastructure. Until a cleaner, more sustainable battery tech is being developed, it is against our core DNA.

I think using less materials, ensuring that they are 100% recyclable, and utilizing alternative fuel sources while using existing infrastructure is a much more logical way to go. The emissions during the entire lifecycle of a vehicle should be taken into account, instead of solely focusing on what comes out of the tailpipe. The whole production, transport, recyclability of components and batteries should be taken into consideration. Luckily I’m not a politician, and don’t want to get into politics, but I really don’t believe heavy Lithium-ion EVs are the solution for anything. However, they certainly have been great for creating awareness and a willingness to embrace technology that’s better for the environment.

CT:

Will Czinger produce a sports car like the Mustang or the Corvette?

JS:

As of now there are no plans

CT:

As a manual driver myself, I adore when manufacturers build new manual vehicles. Will Czinger build a vehicle with a stickshift transmission?

JS:

No plans for that. I personally appreciate a manual gearbox, but I don’t think there’s a place for one at the level of performance Czinger vehicles will produce.

CT:

What impressed me the most with Czinger was that the engine in the 21C was engineered in-house. No brand has produced a V8 that small for quite some time. What are the engine’s origins?

JS:

It's inspired by F1 and other extreme engines like those used in Moto GP, but it’s an in-house developed engine designed to operate in a hybrid solution. The engine is also the world’s power dense engine, which is a cool ‘pub fact’.

CT:

Will Czinger release a video of its 29 second 0-400-0 time?

over performing our claims is crucial to building a credible performance brand

JS:

We will release videos of all records we set. Proving ourselves, or better yet over performing our claims is crucial to building a credible performance brand. And it’s also a lot of fun! The 21C already performs incredibly well and has gone through months and miles of testing already, so the numbers we have released are definitively numbers we are very confident in setting, or bettering.

CT:

Lastly, I have a couple questions about you. You have a very interesting story from what I gathered of our conversations prior. Starting off, when did you know you were an automotive enthusiast?

JS:

I have a vivid memory of receiving as a gift a scale model of a Maserati Bora. It was silver with a polished roof. I got it from my mother when I was about 4-5 years old. This was 100% the defining moment, and I remember thinking it looked like a spaceship.

Another defining moment was the Norwegian puppet movie: Flaaklypa Grand Prix, or Pinchcliffe grand prix. This was kind of a ragtag Le Mans Group C type race puppet movie for kids that definitively sparked my interest and love for racing and sports cars. It was a kind of movie that parents put on during birthday parties and other events, so ask any Norwegian about it and they'll know. It was also a pivotal moment for Christian VonKoenigsegg and an inspiration for him to dream of starting a supercar company as a kid too I think. You should definitely watch it!

CT:

How did you end up working for Christian VonKoenigsegg?

JS:

I got asked through a friend that had invested in the company. I had a background in the automotive world, working for Ferrari, Pagani, Lamborghini and other dealers. I organized track events for supercar owners, so I had known them for a few years before we decided to give it a shot. A very interesting few years. Christian and his wife have fought so hard for so many years to make things work without cutting any corners and always staying ethically spotless. They are good people that deserve all the success they’re seeing now and more.

CT:

What was something impactful you learned from working at Koenigsegg?

JS:

Making the impossible possible and always stay positive and agile.

CT:

What did you do between when you left Koenigsegg and went to work for Czinger, and what drew you to join Czinger?

JS:

I left Koenigsegg in 2015 and have been doing a lot of consulting for several supercar brands and tech startups before I took on the Czinger project. If I’m not mistaken we started talking about this job and project back in 2016, and the fact that Jon Gunner, previous CTO for Koenigsegg was onboard as a CTO was a huge draw, in addition to Kevin’s forward vision. Opportunities like this doesn’t come by very often…if ever. It’s really special, and such a great thing to be able to start with a blank sheet and create a brand out of this amazing product. I’m a lucky guy.

CT:

What’s a goal you’ve set for yourself within Czinger?

I want czinger to Be a world famous, resilient brand within 12 months by not following the rules.

JS:

I want Czinger to be a world famous, resilient brand within 12 months by not following the rules.

Continue to build a strong team. Give them the freedom to think out of the box and be creative.

Establish a full dealer and service network with over 15 dealers worldwide before the end of the year

Sell out all 80 allocations and build a solid waiting list. Sounds easy, I know ;)

CT:

I’m very excited to see what you have in store! Thank you so much for your time. I greatly appreciate the time you took to answer these. I wish you and Czinger the best of luck going forward.

- End of the Interview

Somehow, this interview convinced me even more that the folks at Czinger just get it. They understand marketing, they understand engineering, and they understand that people like us are wary of unknown hypercar brands and their outlandish claims. They aim to put all of our worries to rest by proving everything they dare to claim. Czinger is the real deal. Through additive manufacturing and revolutionized production methodology, they're going to change the automotive landscape forever.

Tune in to the Czinger press conference on March 3rd at 11am CET, 5am Eastern

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Comments (74)

  • 80 units per year (maybe), 15 dealerships (maybe) and $1.7 million per unit is not going to be much of a ‘disruption’ to the automotive industry. It’s a boutique car manufacturer.

      1 year ago
    • As was said in the interview, the 21C is just the start. It's the proof of concept that this technology works. Czinger is backed by the technology developed by Divergent 3D, a company that's been around for a while and had shown its potential...

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • Looks like this company is up to latest technology.

    It’s good looking car. Design kind of Reminds me of ultima race cars.

    At least it’s good to see american super car company. We need a lot more car companies like this from states. Maybe HAAS F1 team will make exotic cars like Mclaren

      1 year ago
  • Beautiful car but it better have a great air conditioner with that huge bubble windshield on it

      1 year ago
    • At 1.7 million I have no doubt it'll have a great AC unit.

        1 year ago
  • Saving the world, one hypercar at a time

      1 year ago
    • That's how I feel. If you can find a way to make something we love sustainable, that's the best of both worlds. Conservation is extremely important but if it ruins all the fun what's the point of living?

        1 year ago
  • Finally! A new car without an LS!

      1 year ago
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