I am usually all in favor of new supercar manufacturers, because I like the idea of a world filled with speed machines that came out of an engineers vision. Koenigsegg and Pagani come to mind as recent success stories in this business of making a new supercar that took on the established marques and seem to be winning not only fans, but also customers.
However, not all new efforts are as impressive, and this latest one from the Middle-East has left me scratching my head.
The company is called W-Motors, and it was co-founded by a Lebanese named Sari El Khalil, who wanted to make the very first Arabian supercar. All that is fine, but in the video released by the company, the people working on it don’t look Arabian, and their engineering partners are certainly not, as they have enlisted the help of Magna Steyr and RUF.
So at best, this is an Arab-funded project, not designed and built there. Still, nothing wrong with asking the best in the business for helping out with a new project.
Now comes the really crazy bit. W-Motors first car (which was just unveiled at the 2013 Qatar Motor Show) is called the Lykan Hypersport, and it will cost you a whopping $3.4-million to have one.
That price is shocking, especially since it is for a product that comes from a company no one has ever heard of. But then you’d think this car probably has more power than any car ever seen by the world before, to justify its asking price.
Umm… no. It has 750-hp from a twin-turbo, flat-six motor, which I’m guessing is the bit prepped by RUF. While I’m sure the motor is fantastic (just like everything else done by RUF), 750-hp merely isn’t enough for a car costing as much as this one.
So why does it cost so much? According to W-Motors, the entire car is made of carbon-fibre (no big deal, many of the best supercars are made of this stuff nowadays), but when they try to justify the price based on the fact it has gold and platinum encrusted interior and body panels, plus plenty of diamonds (including some in its lights), it just says to me, this company is not serious about making a proper supercar.
To further justify the car and its price, it also comes with a Cyrus Klepcys wrist watch, valued at $200,000. So let’s do the math, take the price of the car, subtract the price of the watch, and then subtract a sum for making the car, and lets say they have left themselves $2.5-million for research and development per-car. Spread that over the 7-cars they want to produce, that means the whole project was done for just $17.5-million! That is not a lot, when you consider Bugatti spent over $1-billion to put the Veyron into production. So the Lykan is not likely going to be a sorted piece.
According to El Khalil: “We are choosing our customers carefully. It’s the first Arab car, we want Arabs driving our car.” He goes on to say, he has received interest from India, China and Russia for this car, but prefers all 7-cars to stay in the Middle-East. A word of advice to Mr. El Khalil, your car, which looks like a derivative of many modern supercars (albeit a mildly attractive one) with no pedigree and with only respectable performance for the money, you should be kissing the hand of anyone who wants to buy your creation, let alone be picking.
Will this project survive? Only time will tell. I wouldn’t bet on it though.