Cue the "yeah America" in 3...2...1...
Last month, a design firm and fabrication company called Aria Group revealed a stunning concept car that was a unique take on a mid-engined Corvette. There have been rumors that GM could be working on a mid-engined car of their own that could be a Corvette or a Cadillac, but Aria has beat GM to the punch. We spoke with Aria's president and CEO Clive Hawkins to ask him about this amazing creation, the Fast Eddy. Aria believes that "America deserves its own exciting mid-engined sports car that isn't an Audi or Lamborghini."
After 21 years of developing cool concept cars for other companies, like the Carbuzz-favorite Kia GT4 Stinger, Aria wanted to build something for itself. Hawkins told us about the car's namesake, Fast Eddy, a "GM-lifer who created and daily drove the C4 Corvette." Aria's design is loosely based on a 1970s GM concept that never went into production. If all goes to plan, when its car goes into production, it will be mind-bendingly fast. Hawkins says that the car would be powered by the LT4 engine from the C7 Z06 with "the same power output of the Corvette." That would mean 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, impressive numbers among supercars.
Hawkins said that the car would need a "different transmission and transaxle that is not sourced from GM." According to Hawkins, the transmission of choice would "probably be a dual-clutch" and the company did "have a transmission in mind." Sorry fans of the manual. The car would have a "carbon fiber tub with a fabricated front and rear sub frame." With a lightweight construction, the car would only weigh around 3,000 pounds. This means that it would have just "14 lb-ft of torque less than a LaFerrari with its V12 and electric motor, and weigh around 500 pounds less." Hawkins emphasized that his concept could go toe-to-toe with the holy trinity.
If the concept enters production, it would be given the name FE (Fast Eddy). Aria estimates that the FE would do 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 5.6 seconds, and complete the quarter-mile in 10.1 seconds, topping out at 201 mph. As of now, Aria has not received any deposits, but would build the FE if demand was high enough. Hawkins told us that he would "be excited to build around 100 cars for customers." He also expressed interest in building 500 cars for homologation, but described that as a "tall order." We asked that if someone came along with a blank check, would he be willing to build a single car, and Hawkins didn't seem too averse to the idea.
If Aria could produce 100 FEs, they would be in the $500,000 price range. Hawkins says that the lines on the FE "emulate when form and proportion were more important than flashy details." The FE has "rear ducts and a unique body surface which provide downforce without the need for any big wings." Clearly the FE celebrates the simplicity of American engineering. In the past, American cars have shown that they can perform as well as European cars using simpler technology. Aria wants to "celebrate the pushrod LT4 motor" as an engineering masterpiece. We hope that Aria can put the FE into production, because it offers something that you really can't find on the market today.
As of now, there isn't really a supercar that America can point to as its own. The Dodge Viper is going out of production, and the Ford GT hasn't reached customers' hands yet. The Ford GT does look like a promising supercar, but the twin-turbo charged EcoBoost V6 doesn't follow the same traditional American formula that Aria wants to carry on. The Aria FE sounds like the supercar that America deserves, and we can't wait to see a production spec model. But you may be asking why a small company that is known for building concept cars is a better candidate than GM itself to build America's first true mid-engined car with Corvette power.
In addition to building concept cars, Aria Group is also responsible for supplying paint and carbon fiber work to Singer, a company that builds one of the most visually stunning, hand-built cars on the market. We told Hawkins that if we hit the lottery any time soon, he could expect a blank check in the mail written out to Aria. We think that the US needs a mid-engined supercar that combines old fashioned design and strategy with a modern interpretation. If you are one of those people who could hand over a blank check, and want a truly unique American supercar, you know where to send it. If you didn't get a Ford GT allocation, don't worry because you can order something that might be even better.