Lost in the shuffle…
During the month of February in 2014, Arash, the boutique car manufacturer from England teased at introducing their new AF8 supercar. Unfortunately, their announcement on the 28th fell on deaf ears due to the residual chatter from an event that occurred on the 24th followed by a monumental announcement also scheduled on the same day as Arash’s press release on the 28th.
On the 24th, during an “Aerodynamic Test Session” at the Kennedy Space Center on the Shuttle Landing Facility’s 3.2-mile runway in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Hennessey Venom GT set a new top speed record for production cars at 270.49 mph. In doing so, they widened the gap between them and their arch nemesis, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (267.8 mph). When the media coverage had begun to die down and Arash was ramping up for their announcement, Koenigsegg announced the launch of their newest addition, the Agera One:1. To keep it simple, the Agera One:1 is a supercar that weighs 1,300 kilograms, produces 1,300 horsepower with a top speed of 273 mph. One HP per KG, hence the One:1 moniker.
All in all, when it comes to heart racing automotive announcements, the Arash’s carbon fiber bodied, pushrod V8 seemed passé, when pitted against a world record top speed and the announcement of the world’s first “mega car”.
So while the media outlets largely ignored the announcement of the Arash AF8, we’ll dedicate a couple of pages and properly introduce you to the next boutique supercar.
With machined aluminum heads and smooth flow, hand finished exhaust ports, the C6 Corvette Z06 sourced 7.0 liter (427 Cubic Inch) LS7 aluminum block which produces 550 horsepower at 6,500 rpm’s and 472 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm’s. Considering that the mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated, LS7 can be easily tweaked, 600+ horsepower is attainable with simple upgrades from well known aftermarket suppliers. All that power is fed to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual, aluminum gearbox which is mounted directly to the rear sub-frame. Thanks to liberal use of carbon reinforced plastics body panels, the AF8 tips the scales at 2645 lbs (comparatively, the Honda Civic weighs 2,754 lbs), so the advertised 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds sounds legit as does the top speed of 200 mph.
The chassis is constructed from an assortment of high tensile tubular steel, aluminum and carbon. The side-impact beams are made from high-strength steel, while the roll cage is strengthened with carbon. The floor has been constructed, using a Kevlar-carbon composite to provide “ballistic” protection against stones and road debris.
The overall design seems to be inspired by previous models of the AF8’s competition. The front end screams Ferrari 360 Modena, while the sides evoke the look of a cross between a Lamborghini and a McLaren F1. The rear, is too plain, almost uninspired… it begs for a different tail light assembly and perhaps some venting. However, the overall stance is palatable, almost expected for a traditional mid-engined car… short overhangs and a slight cab-forward design.
The first 36 cars off the line will be painted in “Launch Edition Yellow” and will be considered the “First Edition” model. That being said, the advertised price is $277,000 USD. Comparatively, the Ferrari 458 Italia will set you back $233,000 while the McLaren 12C rings the register at $239,000. The point is that while the Arash AF8 combines the best of American muscle and Italian design, the cost seems a bit out of line when positioned next to its established competition.