Weber Faster One – the world's fastest street-legal sports car?
Weber Sportcars promised to unseat the Bugatti Veyron as the world’s fastest street-legal sports car with its Faster One (F1) back in 2008. It seems the Swiss car maker still has the title in its sights, releasing the specifications for the latest iteration of its two-seater mid-engine sports car with the claim that it's the fastest street-legal sports car in the world.
Weber claims the F1 is capable of a maximum speed of "over 400 km/h" (248 mph), which is nothing to sneeze at, but is a little too vague to claim bragging rights over the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's 431 km/h (267 mph) – or even the roadster version's 410 km/h (255 mph) (although this will be speed limited to 375 km/h (233 mph)). In fact, the Hennessey Venom GT, Koenigsegg Agera R, SSC Ultimate Aero, and 9ff GT9-R all claim maximum speeds of "over 400 km/h," so just how much over 400 km/h the F1 is capable of is the big question.
While the new Faster One isn’t as elegant as the Bugatti Veyron, it's a big improvement of the original F1. But movie star good looks weren't the priority for Weber, which designed the car as a single-purpose performance machine where bow-legged form relentlessly follows function.
Lightness is the watchword, with the F1's curb weight coming in at 1,250 kg (2,775 lb). That includes 65 kg (143 lb) for the high tensile carbon monocoque, which packs an integrated safety cell reinforced with high strength chrome molybdenum tubes. This was designed by means of finite element method (FEM) software and will flex only one degree under a load of 30 tonnes. Weight distribution is 50:50 with an extremely low center of gravity aided by spreading out the car’s 110 liters (29 gal) of fuel between four tanks.
The extremely rigid body shape of the Faster One has been computer modeled and wind tunnel tested within an inch of its mechanical life to improve the aerodynamics and maximize downforce. According to Weber, the only cars that surpass the Faster One in this respect are race cars that don’t have to worry about road regulations or negotiating speed bumps.
The blank-faced grille is designed to form an air wedge at the front of the car with the bonnet exerting downforce on the front wheels. There aren’t even any door handles to disturb the airflow with button controls used instead. Meanwhile, the engine air intake box is built into the roof, while the air intakes for the intercoolers and the oil cooler are found in the rear.
Sitting conspicuously on the rear is the electronically controlled deployable rear wing that acts as both an airfoil and air brake. This can deploy in 40 milliseconds and snap vertical in 50 milliseconds to produce up to 4,000 newtons (899 lb) of additional braking force.
The Faster One’s engine is a completely redesigned four-valve, light-alloy 5.6-liter V10 with electronic injection and two turbochargers with intercooler. It puts out an insane 1,200 hp (882.3 kW) and 921 ft-lb (1,250 Nm) of torque at 4,200 rpm. Acceleration is like something off a steam catapult with 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) achieved in 2.5 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 6.6 seconds and 0 to 300 km/h (186 mph) in 16.2 seconds.
Not surprisingly, there’s an electronically-controlled muffler bypass valve to match the power and speed with the appropriate baritone notes in the exhaust, while the transmission is a semi-automated, sequential six-speed flappy-paddle gearbox with a 40 millisecond response time.
The Faster One has independent wheel suspension in front and rear for the intelligent all-wheel drive system, dynamic power distribution to all four wheels, electronically-controlled differentials, and a Formula 1 active traction control system. Both front and rear axles are supported by upper and lower A-arms milled from a single piece of metal and height-adjustable suspension struts with anti-sway bar, springs and selectable settings for bound and rebound.
In the wheels department, the Faster One has ultra-wide 2,060 mm, light alloys with Pirelli high performance tires. There's a dual-circuit brake system with ABS and front and rear 12-piston aluminum fixed calipers with vented 380 x 34 mm ceramic brake discs. This means that slamming on the brakes brings the FasterOne to a stop from 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 30 meters (98 ft).
The two-seater cockpit has an integrated safety cell with six-point seat belts for strapping into the sport seats that feature leather and carbon fiber appointments and come in a choice of color combinations. The racing-style steering wheel has more buttons than a game console controller with buttons for engine mapping, the traction control system and the digital dashboard that is positioned above the steering wheel. There's also a sound system with integrated sat-nav and monitor for the rearview camera.
The price of the Weber Faster One is available on request (i.e. it's not cheap).