They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but you can tell a lot about a car from its name. The Nissan Leaf obviously isn't a fire breathing supercar, but with a name like Beast Alpha, the latest car to come out of Rezvani would certainly want to be. Thankfully, it looks like the Alpha has earned its moniker, with more than 500 horsepower and clever pop-out SideWinder doors.
This isn't the first Beast to burst forth from the Rezvani factory in California, but it is the first with a roof. Previous examples were built around the skeleton of an Ariel Atom, but the Alpha is based on a Lotus chassis and weighs 1,950 lb (884 kg). Although that's 300 lb (136 kg) heavier than the existing Beast, it's still light compared to most modern cars ... super or otherwise.
When it comes to looks, the Beast Alpha doesn't mess with the existing formula too much. The low nose and slim headlamps carry over from the Beast, as do the prominent hips and dramatic vents cut into the flanks. Although the roof is a simple targa top, the SideWinder doors are altogether more complicated, popping out from the side of the car and sliding forward to reveal the cabin.
With an enclosed cabin comes more luxury, although the idea of luxury is relative when it comes to stripped-back supercars like this. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both feature, as do power windows and air conditioning. Sure, Rolls-Royce won't be losing any sleep, but it's certainly a start.
Little luxuries aside, serious driving is still priority number one in the Beast. The instrument panel could have been lifted from a touring car, and the seats have barely any padding on them.
Power comes from a turbocharged Honda four-cylinder engine with 500 hp (373 kW), good for a zero-60 mph (98 km/h) sprint of just 3.2 seconds. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but those allergic to the clutch pedal are able to spec an automated sequential 'box as an alternative. Drivers are able to tweak the amount of power, the way the traction control intervenes and the power mapping through a switch on the console.
All of this adds up to a car that looks seriously special, both inside and out. Prices start at US$205,000 – not cheap, but exclusivity and performance never are. And if this doesn't seem like enough performance, there's always the Rezvani Beast X, with 700 hp (522 kW) and no roof.
You can watch the Beast Alpha turn a businessman into a, well, beast in the video below.