W Motors is at full throttle developing and producing ten copies of its debut Lykan Hypersport model. The company has been building buzz since the 2013 Qatar Motor Show by relocating from Beirut to a swanky showroom/factory in Dubai and releasing some previews of the holographic interior for the first time.
The motivation to create a world-beating supercar is easy to understand. As seen by the success of Koenigsegg and Pagani , the supercar business is open to assault from talented newcomers — much more than the volume car business. However, for every Pagani there are 20 failed companies trying to crack the same egg. So the odds are not good, but the reward is potentially enormous.
So, is this Lykan set to stalk its prey in the form of Lamborghinis, Paganis and Bugattis like its mythical namesake does? Or will this simply be another drop in the bucket of failed attempts at infiltrating the supercar market? Only time will tell.
Please follow the jump for the full story and image gallery.
The Lykan is assuredly a car for the times. It looks extremely tough, thanks to layered surfacing treatments that create the impression of an armored vehicle. The light military themes appear in a number of other places on the car, including the thick roof. If not bomb-proof, the Lykan certainly looks bomb-resistant.
At first, the sides of the car look like a choppy mess of lines and shapes. The door is inward from the body panels by at least five inches. The fenders curve up around the wheels smoothly from the front, but from the back the flares back, they have a chopped, sharp bottom edge. This allows a massive vent just behind each wheel, reducing air pressure in the wheel wells and increasing aero slipperiness.
The scissor doors are wild, but nothing compared to the rear fender. This is the most brutal part of the design, with the fender flaring out wildly from the bodywork, almost like a 1960s Ford GT Le Mans entry, whose rear end is visibly about two feet wider than the front.
The most important part of the Lykan Hypersport exterior design is that it is real – not a rendering or computer generated. Hypercar vaporware is as popular as ever, and digital exterior renderings often don’t materialize.
The interior of this car is one of its more vapor-esque features. Does it exist outside a computer? From these images, the answer is ‘not yet.’ The mock-ups are pretty impressive, nonetheless. They show sophisticated shapes, materials and technology.
The seats and steering wheel are good examples of W Motors philosophy with the Lykan Hypersport. They appear to blend pure racing features, like carbon-fiber shells for the seats and tiny diameter for the steering wheel, with some of the imperatives from their buyers.
Atop the slim one-piece carbon seats there are individual leather pads spaced about a half inch apart. The steering wheel is draped with thick racing Alcantara near the 9 o’ clock and 3 o’ clock positions.
The gauges are ID4 displays via the TFT panel, allowing different data, display colors and more right in the center speed area. The ID4 motion-graphic design mimics the speedometer and tachometer tech from the Lexus LFA. The dash has space for a large central touchscreen that promises holographic features that pop out from the screen as a finger approaches. Creepy but cool.
ID4 gauges example
The ignition key for the car is a slim carbon fiber triangle with normal features like remote start, locks and trunk releases. It also includes remote door handles, allowing his Highness to remotely click open the scissor doors. He then simply sits down and shuts the door, and is off.
The powertrain of this car is one of its most special features. The Lykan is powered by a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged boxer six crate motor from the German tuner, RUF, creating 750 horsepower and 750 pound-feet of torque. It is matched with other go-fast bits from the RUF Porsche parts bin.
The transmission and differential setups are unknown, but likely share the full complement of RUF parts, including: suspension, transmission and brakes. Press images show off the center-lock satin black wheels over a monster brake package.
The RUF and Magna parts bolt securely on the Lykan Hypersport’s carbon tub to create the world’s ultimate rat-rod Porsche. W Motors quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of 2.8 seconds, topping out at a claimed 245 mph.
The program will feature close collaboration between RUF and W Motors, via the RUF supercar center in Bahrain. It’s certainly a shorter journey to W Motors in Dubai from Bahrain than from Germany.
Lykan Hypersport – Manufacturer’s Performance Claims
|Peak power||750 horsepower|
|Peak torque||750 pound-feet|
|Top Speed||245 mph|
The Lykan Hypersport is busy on the show circuit this year, via the locked, non-running prototype. A first drive is some way off, even for the car’s royal customers.
The W Motors Lykan Hypersport is priced at $3.4 million and will not be sold in the US or western Europe.
The competition for Lykan includes hypercar legends like Ferrari, McLaren, Bugatti and Lamborghini. Due to its unknown weight figures and “only” 750 horsepower, it looks outmatched by the Veyron and Veneno. Luckily, RUF is a tuner at its core, meaning outputs in the 1,250-horepower range are plausible.
Reliability of the Lykan will likely be atrocious, compounded by few local dealerships. A customer in supercar-loving Singapore, for example, will either need to fly technicians across the world to fix it, or fly the car across the world to be fixed.
The Bugatti Veyron legend continues with the latest Grand Sport Vitesse, bumping horsepower from its quad-turbo W-16 from 1,001 to 1,200-plus. Further developments of the current Veyron are planned, with a ‘Super Veyron’ rumored to bow in 2015. Featuring completely restyled nose and tail, the new models open the door to 300 mph street cars.
Gallery Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
The only Lambos near the Lykan’s price are the special concepts they’ve offered for sale recently, including the Veneno from 2013’s Geneva show. Three versions of this model will be produced and sold, with a price of $3.9 million. The cheaper Sesto Elemento and Murcielago-based Reventón come to mind as well.
Gallery Lamborghini Veneno
The Lykan might be painted white like a sheep, but make no mistake: this is a wolf of a car. Building on RUF’s high-speed experience and mechanicals, and Magna Steyr Torino styling and interior, the W Motors Lykan Hypersport looks like a small winner in the supercar world.
By keeping initial numbers ultra-exclusive, they both enhance the appeal among the mega-rich and allow W Motors to use the very best racing-type components from RUF. A bigger run might’ve jeopardized initial deposits and made the company use inferior mass-production-friendly components. There are more than a few missing links, but the venture is ambitious.
If all goes well, a Hypersport Spyder and cheaper Lykan Supersport may follow.
For the name alone, the car deserves success. More than a man-wolf beast, Lykans are supernatural. Whereas the werewolf can only change from man to wolf under a full moon, the Lykan is able to control its transformation. This means the meager sheep can bare its fangs anytime, anywhere.
- Oddly sexy exterior
- Futuristic interior
- Lightening fast
- Huge $3.4 million price tag
- Not as powerful as we would like
- Interior may be vaporware