There are sports car names you hear ad nauseum, your Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, for example. Then there are names that you hear whispered every few years. Mazzanti is one of the latter, but this time it's not whispering but shouting at the top of its lungs. Its message is a big, grunting 700-hp muscle mass that beckons you with suicide doors.
Okay, with cars like the Antas V8 (below), Mazzanti was never much of a whisperer. But it has tended to stream in and out of the collective car consciousness, surfacing occasionally and briefly to release the latest iteration of the car it calls Evantra.
In fact, the last time we looked at the company's impressive work, we were looking at the work of F&M (Faralli & Mazzanti). In 2010, the two consonants split up to pursue their preferred ends of the business while still working together on some projects. Mario and Walter Faralli went back to the auto restoration side, while Luca Mazzanti, who had earned his automotive chops in their restoration business, set out to design and build his own supercars.
It didn't take long for the newly formed Mazzanti Automobili to release its first design, a collaboration between Luca and designer Zsolt Tarnok first dubbed "Mugello," before being renamed "Evantra." Mazzanti first showed the supercar in 2011, and since then it has popped up every now and again, including as a prototype at last year's Top Marques Monaco. At this year's show earlier this month, it was introduced as a production-ready design.
We've come to treat terms like "production ready" and "specs" rather loosely when it comes to single-digit-run supercars from small start-ups. Such cars have a way of making big debuts and then disappearing for years, sometimes never to return.
With the Evantra extra looseness is warranted because the 01 chassis car that was pranced out for Top Marques is still covered in black testing camouflage, with Mazzanti admitting that the camo is there for continued track testing. That sounds a lot like "close to ready" but not quite "finalized for production." Potato, potahto.
Fortunately, Mazzanti has spent much of the year ushering the ice-blue 00-chassis Evantra to testing and photo shoots, so we can have a proper look without the lackluster camo job getting in the way. Mazzanti explains that the car was styled to find a balance between the classic and the modern, and it's not hard to see the two themes hard at work.
The rolling, three-dimensional front fenders look as though a villain triggering a Tommy gun should be hanging out the window, while the voluptuous pontoons give way rather abruptly to sharp LED headlights and a front-end sliced and diced into geometrical vents. The neo-retro styling is even more apparent when you look at the aforementioned Antas V8, a car that tipped the balance in favor of classic over modern. The Evantra shows similar shapes, but with more restraint on the "retro" side.
Given Mazzanti's background in restoring Maseratis and Ferraris from the late 80s through the 2000s, the route of blending classic with modern is not all that surprising. What is surprising is that the Evantra design doesn't show a lot of the Italian curvaceousness that those marques bring to mind. Its harder, more masculine lines and features appear inspired by a different subset of European exotics, like the Pagani Zonda/Huayra and Spyker C8 Aileron.
The retro-modern body work is supported by a steel chassis and chrome-molybdenum roll cage. The curb weight needles in around 2,866 lb (1,300 kg) when the buyer opts for the carbon fiber Pro Body. A hand-formed aluminum body is also available.
Pushing that skin and bones is a 701-hp, 7.0-liter V8 mid engine working with a six-speed sequential transmission. A set of high-performance Continental 255/30 R20 front and 325/25 R20 rear tires put that engine muscle to the road. According to its spec sheet, the car reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.2 seconds, and the speedometer keeps cranking until 217 mph (350 km/h).
Some of the recent modifications that have been applied to Evantra chassis 01 include a new rear diffuser with variable inclination and a revamped Alcantara and Luxpel leather interior with carbon steering wheel and full-digital dashboard.
"Evantra V8 was not born to please everyone, instead to be herself and to generate emotions with her character and exclusivity," Luca Mazzanti states.
When the Evantra does become full-on production-ready, Mazzanti plans to build just five examples per year. Each model will be individually personalized to the buyer's tastes.
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