Elise-based 700hp 'Blackbird' launched


It's conceivable that the Rezvani brand might have already popped up on your radar - not necessarily for the way its product line looks, but for the Californian firm's apparent deference to English expertise when chassis shopping. It's first effort, the bashfully titled 'Beast' was based on an Ariel Atom's underpinnings, while it's follow-up, the 'Beast Alpha' is actually a Lotus Elise underneath the carbon fibre body and silly 'sidewinder' doors.

Of course, when dainty English handling nous meets American investment we all know what happens - and sure enough Rezvani has shown a tendency for dramatically ramping up engine output alongside its penchant for extreme appearance. Consequently, the Beast Alpha (already available in 400hp and X-badged 600hp flavours) has now added the 700hp "Blackbird" to its lineup. Why Blackbird? Because SR-71, obviously.


Naming your latest model after the world's fastest airplane comes with a certain amount of expectation (along with head-shaking and sighing), but Rezvani clearly feels it has lived up to the hype with the power extracted from what might otherwise be considered a fairly humble 2.5-litre turbocharged four-pot. The confirmed Anglophile has stuck rigidly to its formula, too: apparently enlisting the help of Cosworth when it came to developing what you'd imagine is quite a highly-strung in-house engine.

Thanks in no small part to the Elise underneath, its maker claims that the completed BlackBird weights just 975kg. Which makes its power-to-weight ratio absurd and its quoted 0-60mph time a pithy 2.9 seconds. To put that into context, the quickest version that Lotus will sell you - the Elise Cup 260 - only has a measly 250hp and 0-60mph time of 3.8 seconds.

Of course, Hethel's version costs about £50k and handles like a dream. Rezvani's Californian interpretation is priced from $225,000 and probably doesn't - or at least not in a way that wouldn't be overtly terrifying to a standard issue human driver. Nevertheless, there will only ever be five of them made, and at the very least that makes it another interesting notch on the British-American automotive bedpost.

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Comments (46) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Vergis 07 Feb 2018

    Hands up all those that think they saw the new Vantage and decided to use it as inspiration for yet another limited edition Elise !

  • snuffy 07 Feb 2018

    Cars that look like that have to be big. And this isn't - it' Elise sized. Therefore it looks like a joke.

  • Gameface 07 Feb 2018

    No mention of how the doors open?

  • AWG 07 Feb 2018

    snuffy said:
    Cars that look like that have to be big. And this isn't - it' Elise sized. Therefore it looks like a joke.
    Completely agree.

  • Bencolem 07 Feb 2018

    snuffy said:
    Cars that look like that have to be big. And this isn't - it' Elise sized. Therefore it looks like a joke.
    Agreed - need to see an interior picture as I’d be amazed if they’ve been able to make this inhabitable enough for the target market.

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