Czinger's hybrid tandem 21C boasts the world's most power-dense engine
Kevin Czinger has finally launched his dream hypercar at a private event in London, after Covid-19 fears rightfully shut down this year's Geneva Auto Show, along with pretty much everything else that represents business as usual.
With markets in freefall, this might seem like a difficult time to be launching a hypercar. But fear not! The ultra-rich are rarely the ones to suffer in global crises. Czinger only needs to offload 80 of these machines, since that's the limit of the run. We're confident he'll manage just fine. Here's what the moneyed elites will get for the scraps off their tables.
The Czinger 21C is a remarkable and unmistakable machine. We've seen cars before that place the driver front and center, but tandem seating arrangements are very rare. The driver will have an amazing view of the road ahead, and the passenger will have an amazing view of the driver's hairdo.
Back-seat passengers do get a small screen to look at, which might be used to show a forward camera view of what's happening, but the experience of riding in the back of this thing looks anything but glamorous. Indeed, you may wish to put passengers out of their misery altogether and specify yours with the optional track package, which replaces the back seat with a helmet bag.
Ingress and egress are achieved via a colossal double-length door, with a diagonal upwards opening that does little to hide its ungainly proportions. Elegant gullwing Mercedes this is not; with the door open, the 21C looks like a supercar that's had a small UFO crash into it. The interior itself, on the other hand, looks as slick and futuristic as you'd hope for a video game car like this one.
The powertrain is hybrid, but the majority of this 1,250-horsepower widowmaker's power comes from a tiny mid-mounted combustion engine that Czinger is building in-house. At just 2.88 liters, it's an 80-degree, twin-turbo V8 with a flat-plane crank and four valves per cylinder. By revving it to a ludicrous 11,000 rpm and cranking the boost to about 21 psi, Czinger manages to extract an ungodly 947.5 horsepower. That would make this the world's most power-dense engine, at 329 horsepower per liter, albeit probably one you'd need to spin up to get the most out of, if getting the most out of thousand-horsepower motors was a vaguely necessary thing given that modern tires can barely handle seven hundred.
Luckily, there's 200-odd horsepower and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of axial flow electric motors ready to apply instant torque at any moment through this AWD powertrain, amply filling in any gaps in acceleration as you work your way through the seven-speed sequential gearbox, which can be specified as a sweet synchro-mesh to prioritize smooth street shifting, or as a "full race dog gearbox for fastest possible shift times."
Kevin Czinger is the CEO of advanced manufacturing concern Divergent 3D, and the Czinger 21C can best be viewed as a full-production descendant of 2012's Divergent Blade supercar. The Blade used a complex and beautiful space frame design built almost entirely out of carbon rods and 3D-printed aluminum nodes, and while the 21C does feature some of this Meccano-like approach in its design, it also steps things up on the additive manufacture side.
We're talking hollow front control arms with three-dimensional internal structures, impossible to manufacture with a CNC machine and boasting insane strength and light weight. Strange, organic-looking shapes that have been evolutionarily optimized using fascinating generative design techniques. Many components are printed in their own specific alloys for optimal performance, and parts have been designed to perform many functions at once, combining structural strength, torsional stiffness, safety, cooling and even exhaust sound management into a single shape.
As a result, the chassis itself weighs just 120 kg (265 lb), and the total dry vehicle weight is kept below an impressive 1,200 kg (2,646 lb). This places the 21C among the hallowed ranks of toys offering more than one horsepower per kilogram of weight, a category that includes just a handful of million-dollar hypercars, a few track-focused rabble-rousers and pretty much every full-fat supersport motorcycle since the late 2000s.
The resulting performance claims are otherworldly. 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 1.9 seconds. A quarter mile in 8.1 seconds. 0 to 186 mph (300 km/h) in 15 seconds, or 0-248-0 mph (0-400-0 km/h) in 29 seconds. The lattermost figure would soundly beat the 31-odd seconds it took the Koenigsegg Regera, making it the fastest 0-400-0 car in the world. Wherever you're going, you'll get there fast. Unless, of course, there's other traffic in the way, or red lights, or zebra crossings, or speed bumps, and so on.
A truly weird and hugely excessive machine, the 21C doesn't carry a price tag as yet. But we feel confident it's a sum of money that should be criminal to spend on a high-performance vanity item. According to Czinger, it's the beginning of a series of "path breaking performance vehicles." Enjoy a short video presentation below, or plenty of photos in the gallery.