Czinger is promising to deliver a real zinger when it debuts the 21C hypercar at the Geneva Motor Show early next week.
The California start-up claims its new model will deliver 1,250 horsepower using a “strong hybrid” drivetrain, enough to launch the tandem two-seater from 0 to 100 kmh, or 62 mph, in a mere 1.9 seconds. Only a handful of vehicles have yet broken the 2-second barrier, including the Rimac C_Two, though this turf could start to get crowded in the next several years.
That Czinger has anything to talk about is significant considering the Los Angeles-based company was only incorporated last year. One of the tricks to getting a product out so quickly it seems, is Czinger’s use of 3D printing technology for the 21C.
The new company gets its name – which is pronounced “zinger,” the “C” being silent – from founder Kevin Czinger. Before launching his latest, eponymous effort, he launched another company using 3D printing technology, the “Divergent Blade.”
The use of that technology – which uses a laser beam to fuse together liquid resins, as well as powdered metals – is still in its infancy. Several established automakers, including Ford and Volkswagen, are using it for relatively small parts. But proponents believe that we eventually could see it used for whole vehicles – or at least body panels and chassis components.
Also known by names like fused, or additive, manufacturing, several start-ups have promised to make the leap into production. Czinger seems intent on being first.One benefit would be the ability to go from computer renderings directly to finished parts while skipping the costly process of developing production tooling. Another advantage would be the ability to customize potentially every individual vehicle – though that could face restrictions because of federal crash standards.
Going with 3D printing is only one of the ways Czinger claims it is breaking the rules.
There’s also the unusual 1+1 seating configuration. It’s not entirely unique but certainly rare. The closest we’ve seen a supercar come is with the early McLaren F1 which had a forward-mounted driver’s seat with two offset passenger seats, one on either side. There appears to be some logic here. The Czinger approach puts the driver dead-center, much like many modern race cars and McLaren’s more recent Speedtail. This provides a more balanced view of the road, the narrower shape, also reducing wind drag.
As for the beating heart of the Czinger 21C, it appears we’ll have to wait until the morning
of March 3 to find out key details. All we know, for now, is that the hypercar uses a gas-electric drivetrain largely developed in-house Czinger claims. The company describes the system as a “strong hybrid,” but it’s unclear if that translates into a plug-in and, if so, how big the battery pack might be.
Also left unanswered:
- How is the powertrain configured? Is it all-wheel-drive and, if so, is an electric motor – or motors – used to drive one of the axles?
- What sort of gas engine is the electric drive paired with?
- If this is a plug-in, will it have any appreciable electric-only range?
- And what sort of top speed are we looking at?
Currently, only two products claim to be able to hit 60 mph in less than 2 seconds, the Rimac C_Two and the Aspark Owl.
That said, this once unimaginable niche could soon provide plenty of options for those with enough case.
That is expected to include the second-generation Tesla Roadster, the Pininfarina Battista and if it follows up with a production version, as hinted, the Karma SC2. Lotus also has quoted a number under 2 seconds for the mysterious, all-electric Type 130 it has been teasing.
Oh, and we left out one other mystery about the Czinger 21C. We hope to get some indication of what it will cost during the hypercar’s debut in Geneva next month.