We all know that the best way to make a small fortune from motorsports is to start with a large one, and the same cash-reducing shrink ray operates in the supercar business. None of which has discouraged Jim Glickenhaus from embarking on a journey that has taken him from commissioning a Ferrari-based special endurance racer to the creation of what’s pretty much his own car company, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. Now, following on from the competition-spec SCG 003C, comes the roadgoing 003S.
We already told you a fair bit about the 003S—the S is for stradale, as opposed to the C for competizione—ahead of its official unveiling at the 2017 Geneva auto show. But now we’ve learned more, including the company’s confident belief that the car will prove to be the fastest ever street-legal car to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife “with a lap time anticipated to be nearly half a minute faster than the current production-car record.” When that statement was released, the record was held by the Porsche 918 Spyder; since then, it was claimed just days ago by Lamborghini with its Huracán Performante. SCG’s goal, however, translates to a time of roughly six minutes and 30 seconds for the 13-mile course, which would be some 22 seconds quicker even than the Lambo.
There’s many a slip ’twixt cup and lip when it comes to ’Ring records, of course. Koenigsegg was equally determined to break the 6:57 time set by the Porsche with its One:1 megacar and predicted it would be able to take more than 20 seconds out of it, but the company suffered a series of setbacks including a ban on high-speed runs in 2015 and then a heavy crash at the track during testing in mid-2016. Glickenhaus will be hoping for better luck if he is to win bragging rights.
The new car certainly has physics on its side, being both lighter and more powerful than its racegoing sister. The 003C uses a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6, but the S has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that is said to produce 800 horsepower at 7000 rpm, with maximum torque of 627 lb-ft at 5900 rpm. The output is sent rearward through a seven-speed race-spec sequential gearbox retuned for road use, and onto the ground via meaty 325/30R-21 rear Dunlop tires (there are 265/35R-20s at the front). We don’t have a final weight figure yet, but SCG has previously said that the car will be less than 3000 pounds in roadgoing form. We’re promised a top speed “in excess of” 217 mph and a sub-three-second zero-to-60-mph time.
The SCG 003S’s real performance advantage is set to come in corners rather than on straights with a carefully designed aerodynamic package that builds on that of the racing car. It is claimed to be capable of delivering both serious downforce and impressive drag efficiency. SCG claims the 003S can generate up to 1550 pounds of downforce at 155 mph, with an ultimate peak of 2200 pounds. That’s enough to help the car generate up to 2.00 g of lateral cornering force on regular tires, it’s said, and “beyond 2.50 g” on racing rubber. The teardrop design of the cockpit has been designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, with a tapered rear similar to that of the new Ford GT. It also features what is described as “virtual side ducting” with the vast front fenders channeling air to the rear as if through an enclosed channel. An LMP-racer-style longitudinal aerodynamic “blade” also runs down the rear section of the car.
The rest of the mechanical package is pretty much shared with the existing race car, with carbon-fiber bodywork fitted to a carbon monocoque, control arms at each corner, and motorsports-grade suspension components. Adaptive dampers are fitted, and—good news for potential buyers with steep driveways—the options include a powered system to raise the front and rear ends at speeds below 30 mph. Braking is by race-grade Brembo carbon-ceramic discs and calipers.
Inside, all driving-function controls are located on the steering wheel, including a mode switch in charge of the various dynamic modes: Track, Comfort, Sport, and Rain. Traction control is variable and can be fully switched off, although we’re betting the car will be quicker with it left on. The 003S also has a central display screen, video mirrors similar to those fitted to LMP racers, and automatic air conditioning, with all control switches having their functions marked with luminous labels.
Any millionaires feeling that familiar check-writing urge won’t be able to sate their desires just yet. The first 003S was a one-off by Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT), the Italian small-volume maker that previously produced Glickenhaus’s Ferrari-powered P4/5 Competizione. He has previously told us that he is in talks with several groups as he looks to raise the funds necessary to homologate the SCG 003S for global sale, although he does already drive a fully registered CS version on New Jersey plates.
There’s no doubt the SCG 003S will offer colossal performance, and any production version will carry an equally serious price. But it will also face very serious competition from the forthcoming Formula 1–engined Mercedes Project One and Aston Martin’s Valkyrie, which we’ve been told will deliver performance equivalent to that of an LMP1 racer. It looks set to be an epic battle.