AutoMatters & More: Rezvani Beast, Electric Vehicle Day preview and “The Transporter Refueled”
First, some background is in order. Many of you might have been fans of the popular and long-running BBC automotive program “Top Gear.” It has been on an extended hiatus while the BBC reportedly searches for suitable replacement hosts, stemming from the dismissal (for punching a co-worker) of Jeremy Clarkson, and the subsequent resignation (in solidarity) of fellow co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May (look for their new online high-budget automotive show on Amazon Prime in about a year).
In one particularly memorable episode of “Top Gear,” Jeremy Clarkson test-drove a high-powered version of the brutally quick Ariel Atom (arielatom.com). It accelerated so violently on their test track that the force literally stretched the skin on Jeremy’s face, causing it to ripple in the wind like a flag fluttering in a stiff breeze.
Designed and engineered in Great Britain, and manufactured for the North American market in Virginia, the Ariel Atom is an ultra-high performance sportscar. Rather than try to achieve that high level of performance by stuffing a large-displacement heavy engine into a similarly large and heavy car — which would compromise handling and braking — the agile Ariel Atom employs that time-proven relationship of high power to low weight. Less weight requires less power to accelerate really quickly, stop and corner.
The Ariel Atom is an extreme no-compromises sportscar in that it not only lacks the usual amenities found in passenger cars, but its extreme weight reduction program also includes the omission of most bodywork, doors and even a windshield. In place of a body, it has what would otherwise be the underlying framework — an exoskeleton. Such a bare-bones car is not for every sportscar lover.
As an alternative, consider the Rezvani Beast (www.RezvaniMotors.com). “The vision was to produce the lightest, highest performance carbon fiber supercar in the world but at a price of about $150,000,” according to Ferris Rezvani, president and CEO, Rezvani Motors.
Based upon the Ariel Atom 3, extensive modifications are performed during its assembly in Orange County, Calif. The breathtakingly beautiful Rezvani Beast remains true to that sportscar’s original and successful formula: 500-horsepower propels 1,650 pounds through the rear wheels — with minimal electronic intervention — to produce an explosive zero-to-60-mph time of only 2.7 seconds (Rezvani-supplied test data).
While there are other sportscars in its rarefied price range (starting at $165,000), it is likely that none quite match the Rezvani Beast for its blend of pure driving exhilaration and concept car styling.
Electric Vehicle Day preview
Saturday, Sept. 19, at Liberty Station will be Electric Vehicle Day in San Diego — part of National Drive Electric Week. Learn about electric vehicles and electric vehicle ownership at this free event. Numerous EVs are expected to be available for test drives, including the BMW i3, Cadillac ELR, Chevy Spark EV, Chevy Volt, Fiat 500e, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Focus Electric, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Leaf, Porsche Panamera Plug-in, Tesla Model S, Toyota Plug-in Prius and Volkswagen e-Golf.
See displays and demos about charging at home and at public stations, state and federal incentives, and solar energy. Speak to EV owners, including me.
For information, go to energycenter.org, click on the “Events” tab and then on “Electric Vehicle Day — San Diego: A National Drive Electric Event.”
The Transporter Refueled
This non-stop thrill ride from Europe is the latest and greatest in “The Transporter” series.
Its premise is familiar. A mysterious client hires Frank Martin — “the best driver money can buy” — to transport “packages” through the picturesque French Riviera. He has only three simple rules: no names, no questions and no negotiations. Crime, deceit and treachery lead to unexpected plot twists and dire consequences.
Beyond being an amazing driver, Frank is honorable, a fierce practitioner of the martial arts, hyper-focused on punctuality, and a skilled marksman — a James Bond-like character with tricked-out, expensive Audis worthy of that famous master spy.
As you would expect, “The Transporter Refueled” has thrilling car chase scenes, expertly choreographed by famous stunt coordinator Michel Julienne, and featuring modified, expensive Audis. Countless cars are spectacularly destroyed as Frank evades his many determined pursuers.
One of my favorite scenes is a car chase through the crowded passenger terminal at the Nice airport on the Cote d’Azur. Also involved in chases are motorcycles, speedboats and jet skis.
“The Transporter Refueled” is in theaters now.
Please write to AutoMatters@gmail.com with your comments and suggestions.
Copyright © 2015 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #401
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