Their memories must be kept alive somehow.
With the main exceptions being Pagani and Koenigsegg, boutique supercar companies rarely survive for long. The car business is already tough enough for major global corporations like GM and Toyota. Clearly boutique brands don’t compete directly with the big boys, but actual day-to-day issues and obstacles to overcome are a lot more difficult to absorb. But that doesn’t mean they can’t build awesome supercars. So we picked out six that we’ve always been huge fans of that we also felt need more respect and recognition.
This is what the Lamborghini Diablo was supposed to be but wasn’t because Chrysler. Seriously. Marcello Gandini penned the Diablo back in the late 80s, just around the time Chrysler bought the Italian marque. Gandini’s design was simply too radical for Chrysler, but the former never gave up on his dream machine. So a couple of rich Italian guys who also loved the design decided to start their own company, Cizeta. The result was the Cizeta V16T. Just 20 examples were built between 1991 and 1995.
Think of the Tushek Renovatio T500 as not much more than a carbon fiber body with a 4.2-liter V8 from the Audi RS4 placed at mid-ship. It weighs just over 2,200 lbs. and produces 450 horsepower and 316 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox sends all that power to the rear wheels. 0-60 mph happens in 3.7 seconds and top speed is supposedly 193 mph. Yep, this is how Slovenia does supercars. We’re impressed.
If you haven’t heard of the Mega Track, then you need to. Sadly though, it’s long gone. Built by French automaker Aixam-Mega in the mid-90s, the mid-engined Mega Track was powered by a 6.0-liter Mercedes V12 with 400 horsepower. Does it look sort of crossover-like? Yes. That’s because it had a standard ride height of 8-inches. If that’s not enough for your off-road exploits, there’s the option of raising it to 13 inches. Did we also mention it has all-wheel drive? Going fast over some really rocky terrain is what this car was born to do.
Picture this: a mid-engine supercar that weighs not much more than the Lotus Exige, only it’s powered by a Corvette LS3 6.2-liter V8 spitting out 525 horsepower. Oh yeah, that engine is also paired with a six-speed manual. Total weight: 2,645 lbs. and a 40/60 weight distribution. The German-built SIN R1 hits 60 mph from a standstill in about 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph. Its price tag? $110,000.
At the time of its launch in the mid-90s, the Lister Storm V12 had the largest V12 engine fitted to a production road car since World War II. It was a Jaguar-based 7.0-liter V12. The Lister Storm itself was a homologated racing car that took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Total output was 546 horsepower and 583 lb-ft of torque. Only four examples were made at a then price of $350,000 a pop. Just three of them are still around today.
Sadly, the Jiotto Caspita never made it to production. That’s a shame because it looks so damn good. Dreamed up in Japan, the Jiotto Caspita was to be powered by a slightly detuned F1 flat-12 engine paired to a six-speed manual gearbox. Total output was around 577 hp and 283 lb-ft of torque. The prototype debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1990 but the project was called off entirely in 1993 mainly due to the global recession. 0-60 mph supposedly could happen in 4.7 seconds and top speed was 199 mph.