In just a few years, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has become one of the most talked about hypercar builders in the world – without building a car. The company is the brainchild of car collector James Glickenhaus, an investment banker with a racing background and a world-class collection of Ferraris and historic race cars. Glickenhaus jumped into the world of car-building when design house Pininfarina approached him in 2002 to collaborate on a one-off model based on the Ferrari Enzo. The result was the Ferrari P4/5 and P4/5 Competizione racing model. After taking delivery of these $4 million cars (and regularly driving them), Glickenhaus announced that he would build a car unlike any the world has ever seen. Now, just 18 months after his bold announcement, the SCG 003 is here, and it looks like he’s made good on his promise.
If the SCG 003 is successful, it will represent a major technical achievement for such a small, young company. Glickenhaus describes the car as a “LMP [Le Mans Prototype] meets GT car,” a modular hypercar that can compete on the track, then be driven home at the end of the day – a car that ranks among the best road cars in the world that can still “race in anger.” Glickenhaus is held in such high esteem in the automotive world that the SCG 003’s development has become one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in recent memory. The car has been so closely scrutinized that it was major news when the car’s carbon-fiber chassis was revealed last July. After being track tested in January, the car was completed on schedule to be publicly unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.
Even without the car’s final performance figures released, the SCG 003 is a technological marvel of a size and scope that would suit the world’s biggest automotive powerhouses. That the car is a small-scale project by a well-heeled enthusiast with a vision is astonishing. Two production-ready cars are set to debut at Geneva: a race-prepped car, and the road car called the SCG 003S, for “Stradale.” While the cars may have slight differences, in reality they’re one in the same. The car utilizes a revolutionary subframe that quickly detaches from the rear of the car, allowing the driver (along with a full racing crew) to quickly swap out the road-ready powertrain for the racing one.
The car has a carbon fiber chassis and lightweight body of the Glickenhaus team’s design, a Hewland paddle-shift gearbox, and two engine options. The racer is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 530 horsepower Honda V6, and another twin-turbo 3.5 liter V6 that Glickenhaus says will be sourced from another supplier, leading to speculation that the engine will be similar to the 3.5 liter unit found in the upcoming Ford GT, where it produces “more than” 600 horses.
Like the one-of-a-kind Ferraris Glickenhaus helped build, he plans to the drive this new car as often as possible. The SCG 003 will face its first major test competing at a 24-hour endurance race at the Nürburgring this May. In June, Glickenhaus plans on driving the car from England to France, having it compete in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, then driving it home to cement the car’s road-to-racer credentials. Unlike the one-off Ferraris, however, the SCG 003 is for sale to the public, but performance and versatility like this don’t come cheap. The race-prepped version will start at $2.35 million, and the base price for the street version will be closer to $2.6 million. The company expects cars to be ready for delivery by the end of 2015.
In recent years, automakers like Volkswagen and Volvo have been looking to modular platforms as the future of their production models. These easily modifiable platforms allow for lower development costs and greater interchangeability of parts across a full model range, allowing automakers to keep costs low while offering a versatile range of cars. The Glickenhaus SCG 003 takes the idea of modular construction to a whole other level. Its radical, race-ready design and modular powertrains have the potential to transform the way performance cars are designed and built. If the SCG 003 can dominate the road (and track) like it’s dominated the automotive media for the past 18 months, things could be changing pretty quickly in the world of hypercars.
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