Back in May, we were teased by a relative unknown in the automotive world - Spanish automaker, Aspid - as it was set to unveil a new and secretive sports car. Up until that point, the only car that Aspid manufactured was the SS, which is a semi-open-wheel two seater more known for its agility than anything else.
Well, now Aspid is prepared to expose this all-new sports car to the world, and it has sent us a few PR images and a ton of info via email. Doing what we do best, we will critique this car and find out if it is really up to the task of competing with the Porsches and other sports cars of the world.
While this car looks very awkward and a little bit like something out of a Sci-Fi flick, it is actually rather conventional when sat next to its sibling, the Super Sport. In terms of performance, this new Aspid certainly talks a really big talk, but does it really have the bite to match up with its bark?
Click past the jump to find out if this Aspid GT-21 is up to the task of taking on the big boys in the industry.
Calling the Aspid GT-21 anything but wild on the outside is an understatement. Up front, it boasts a semi-open-wheel design, as its from fenders only wrap over the top of the tires and the front bumper wraps around part of the front of each tire. If you want a production car to compare its open-wheel design with, think about the Plymouth Prowler.
The hood tapers outward as you approach the windshield, giving it a race car-like appearance. At the front of the hood is a low-profile scoop to get the engine a little extra air. The headlights are very thin and wide, and the front grille is the same way. The lights and grille almost look as if Aspid took the front end of the new Camaro and stretched it.
At the base of the front fascia, there’s a front spoiler to help keep the front tires glued to the tarmac. Between the front spoiler and the main grille, there’s a wide-mouth lower grille that really gives the front end a lot of character.
The side profile of the Aspid GT-21 is far and away the sexiest angle. You have two heat extractors on each side. There is one smaller extractor that sits above the wheel and apparently extracts heat from the engine compartment. The second set of extractors are just behind the front wheels to guide hot air away from the brake system.
The roof line swoops upward gracefully from the shallow-racked windshield and gradually slopes downward until it meets the tail end of the car. Just below each door sits a set of side-exit exhaust pipes that really spice up the side view of the Aspid.
The bulging rear fenders each feature a cooling duct for the rear brakes and large wheel flares to help make the remaining of the back end as aerodynamic as possible.
On the back end, you will notice four holes on either side, which are apparently the downstream end of the heat extractors. Above those extractors, you get a set of taillights that are in the same vertical fashion as the headlights are. You also get a lip-style spoiler on the top of the back end and a diffuser on the bottom of this sports car’s tail.
On each corner of the Aspid GT-21 the press image shows a 10-spoke rim, but according to the press release, there are hundreds of customization options, so we are sure there are dozens of rims to choose from.
All in all, the exterior is stunning, but a little bit out of the norm. Then again, Aspid is the last car company anyone would expect to produce a “normal” car.
Unfortunately, Aspid has not released any interior pictures yet, but it did release some highlights on the interior. On the inside, the Aspid GT-21 is a much larger vehicle when compared to its Super Sport sibling, allowing its passengers to sit more comfortably. It also includes increased luggage space over the SS too. Then again, if you’re buying this car with luggage space in mind, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
We also know that the GT-21 is a 2+2 seat car, which means that it does have small seats in the rear for passengers. We are willing to bet that these seats are not the most comfortable though.
We’ll update you once we receive more information on the interior.
Engine and Drivetrain
Under the hood of the Aspid GT-21 is a BMW-sourced 4.4-liter V-8 that pumps out 450 horsepower at 8,300 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. Given that high peak horsepower rpm – 2,800 rpm higher and 50 horsepower higher than the BMW 550 – the engine has obviously been tweaked. The significant drop on torque – 125 pound feet – from the 550i means that this 4.4-liter likely does not boast the twin turbochargers that the 550i does and is likely naturally aspirated.
Tossing the power to the rear wheels is your choice of either a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic or a 6-speed manual.
While all of the numbers so far seem pretty much standard for most sports cars today, the Aspid’s shining point is the fact that it only weighs 990 kg (2,182 lbs), which equals out to just 2.2 kg (4.85 lbs) per horsepower. This allows the Aspid GT-21 to hit 60 mph in under three seconds and hit a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph).
Handling and Braking
The rear wheels measure in at 20 x 11 inches and the fronts measure in at 19 x 9 inches, so there is plenty of rubber to keep the GT-21 on the road. The ALEXCOM chassis is the same style used in the Super Sport model and weighs only 90 kg (198 lbs), but remains extremely strong and rigid, increasing handling significantly.
The front and rear suspension are independent in design and boast cold-resistant, aerospace-extruded aluminum to increase rigidity and low unsprung weight, increasing handling performance.
The braking system on the GT-21 is state of the art. It boasts multiple heat extractors, as you likely noticed in the images and our description of the body. These lower the temperature of the brake pads and rotors, helping resist fading under heavy braking.
The front brake rotors measure in at 400 mm (15.75 inches) in diameter and boast dual calipers to put the squeeze on in heavy braking. The rear brakes boast the same 400 mm (15.75-inch) rotors with a single caliper on each side. This braking system, according to Aspid, give the same performance as a carbon-on-carbon system without the need to warm up the brakes like you need to on carbon-on-carbon systems.
Unfortunately, Aspid does not list any pricing. We assume this is because the pricing can vary so much, due to the GT-21 being built to suit each customer. Therefore setting a base price is nearly impossible. Given the fact the Aspid is only building 250 examples of the GT-21 per year, we anticipate a price range starting in the mid $100K range.
When Can I Get One?
Aspid anticipates the GT-21 to be released within two years. Unfortunately, there is no word as to whether it will be available in the U.S. or not. We are leaning towards the idea that it will only be available in the European market.
The only car that comes close to the Aspid GT-21 in exclusivity, performance, and looks is the upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder . It boasts a 4.6-liter V-8 with a pair of electric motors to get a peak horsepower rating of 770. This combined performance is enough to get the 918 Spyder to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, but there is no definite number given yet. The 918 Spyder will run $845,000, and we highly doubt the Aspid will even crest the $250K range, but we have been wrong before.
If we are right, though, Porsche had better be checking its rear-view mirror for the GT-21, as it could be a prime alternative for the a little less affluent buyer.
On paper, the GT-21 sounds bad ass, but reality may end up being a completely different animal altogether. If one little thing goes wrong, Aspid could be up the creek without a paddle. Then again, given it is using a time-tested BMW V-8 and drivetrain components that are already in use, there is little guesswork to be done with the GT-21.
The severely limited production will hurt its overall numbers and we will likely see it sold out in just a matter of weeks, but it is still an awesome car – on paper – nonetheless. We’ll keep you updated on this car as more information becomes available.
- State of the art braking system
- Low weight
- Excellent performance times
- Performance times have not been proven yet
- Limited production
- Design will be a hit or miss with customers
Gallery Aspid GT-21 Invictus
Aspid Cars releases images of GT-21 Invictus hi-tech sports car
Aspid Cars has released the first dramatic images of its new GT-21 Invictus, which features a distinctive semi open wheel appearance at the front of the car. The multi-million Euro project will create up to 200 hi-tech jobs and builds on advanced lightweight technologies developed for the Aspid Super Sport technology demonstrator unveiled at previous motor shows. Discussions are nearing completion with investors to determine the most suitable manufacturing location. Both cars are expected to enter production within two years.
“The GT-21 Invictus complements the Aspid Super Sport, but is bigger and more powerful,” says the car’s chief designer and company founder Ignacio Fernández Rodriquez. “It has been a challenging styling exercise, but fortunately we have a really talented design team in the company. They have done an excellent job evoking the values of the company in the car.”
“Aspid Cars in the vanguard of technological and lightweight vehicle development and we needed to convey this in the design. We also needed an element of aggressiveness to reveal our motor sport credentials. The design brief also demanded that we portray the elegance and beauty required for a premium car.”
“From a visual perspective and to set us apart, we needed to retain an element of the unique design form of an open wheel car as characterised by the Aspid Super Sport. This presented by far the biggest challenge in terms of packaging the interior volume for the driver and passengers, but we’ve successfully achieved this and have therefore maintained our unique visual identity, so the car is perceived as an Aspid the instant it’s seen.”
The Aspid GT-21 Invictus is bigger and less compromised for interior space compared with the Aspid Super Sport, significantly increasing the level of comfort for the driver and passengers. It is more powerful and more technologically advanced thereby maintaining the company’s reputation for designing cars with a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio, significant CO 2 reducing capability through lightweight efficiency, combined with sublime road handling. The GT-21 employs the same chassis design that weighs a mere 80 kg in the Super Sport,
which still sets an industry benchmark. The GT-21 Invictus styling has been undertaken by IFR Automotive, which is also responsible of the design and engineering of the Aspid Super Sport which preceded it.
“The Aspid GT-21 Invictus represents a new generation of Gran Turismo fit for the 21st century” says Fernández. “With a weight that is less than 990kg when dry, the car features the latest generation BMW V8 engine capable of delivering 450 horsepower. It also incorporates a new generation of sports car hybridization, which increases the dynamic performance of the vehicle while being respectful of the environment. A lot of the technology we’ve developed will transfer to other road vehicles”
The Aspid GT-21 Invictus will offer the same astonishing acceleration as the Super Sport, reaching 100km/h (62mph) in less than three seconds, but with a higher maximum speed exceeding 300km/h (187mph) and a cornering ability in terms of g forces that similarly sets a new class benchmark. High speed stability and performance is enhanced through efficient aerodynamics. The dimensions are those of a GT: 4.447mm long, 1,883mm wide and a height of 1,226mm. The Invictus is aimed squarely at the premium sports car market and production
will be limited to 250 a year to retain its exclusivity.
“Aspid Cars is inspired by the motorsport and aerospace industries,” says Fernández. “Their advanced lightweight technologies have been applied to our new GT, which is first and foremost a high performance road car.”
The manufacturing processes and suppliers for the Aspid GT-21, being from aerospace and motorsport industries, are used to producing components at high levels of precision in small batches or even as unique parts. The materials employed include aerospace grade aluminium, ultra-light high-strength steels, and composites. The unique design of the car, choice of materials and manufacturing process ensure that every Aspid can be tailored to each individual customer.
Says Fernández: “Each car will be custom made and hand built in its own production bay. There is no production line as such. Each client can choose more than 100 different options, and most customers will want to visit the factory during the build of their personalised car.”
Each car will be handed over to the customer at the factory by the team of engineers and technicians who build it. Each customer will also receive a special book signed by the factory team illustrating the assembly sequence.
Customers will be able to purchase the car from an elite group of 20 dealers across Europe, some of which have yet to be selected, able to deliver the high standard of sales and aftersales service. As well as maintaining the vehicle the dealer network will also help organise Aspid branded events and entertainment.
The configuration of each car will be tailored to suit the precise requirements of each customer, giving them the option, for example, to adapt the geometry and the electronics to their individual needs and personal taste. The customer may at any time request the Aspid engineering department to change the car’s geometry and electronic settings for different needs.
“This means that in addition to aesthetic customization of the vehicle, the client can also customize its ride and handling characteristics to their own requirements,” says Fernández, who was previously a race engineer as well as being an automotive engineer and car designer. “We aim to offer a unique and unforgettable experience when a customer buys one of our sports cars. We believe our factory model and our relationship with each customer will be
unique and set a new standard in the market. It will be more like the relationship experienced between a professional race driver and his race engineer and race team. We’re very aware that every customer will be an ambassador for the brand, hence this close relationship which we aim to nurture.”
“The GT-21 Invictus is a significant step forward for the Aspid brand,” adds Fernández. “We’re building on our experience of developing a high performance road and race car and technology demonstrator, which has helped us to establish IFR Automotive as an engineering consultancy. We have invested significantly in developing the technology and understanding the market for our new and exclusive road car. The GT is longer than the Super Sport by 700 mm and
oriented towards a radical sports car segment of the market requiring larger dimensions, an 8-cylinder engine, and dual-clutch transmission actuated by F1-style shift paddles on the steering wheel, which is also significantly easier to get in and out of the car. It also has more space inside the cabin and luggage compartment.”
Fernández says the Invictus represents the first GT "semi open wheeler" with a 2+2 passenger configuration and rear-wheel drive: “It has a strong visual element to help identify the Aspid open-wheel design language, where you can see all the beauty and technological excellence used in the wheel in conjunction with the suspension arms and their oval shape, dual brake callipers and their unique double discs, complemented by the front wings which also make a smart and aggressive statement of our intentions.”
“The GT-21 brings together the most advanced technologies yet introduced to this market as presented previously in the Super Sport, which helped us test the water. It introduces a compendium of new technologies specifically developed for this new model, which enhances our understanding of cars generally and their continual evolution as machines of even greater efficiency than we’ve ever seen before.”
“We aspire to build Aspid Cars as a brand representing design innovation and technological leadership, which through IFR Automotive can be applied to passenger, commercial and off highway vehicles,” says Fernández. “We’ve already introduced into the market our technologies to small series cars, motorbikes, buses and coaches.”
Other technology included in the Aspid GT-21 Invictus already applied in the Super Sport includes the integration into the steering wheel of the most important driver primary functions and displays. The elimination of switches and buttons and the introduction of a new electrical architecture and electronic system, integrating multimedia with the control systems of the car, facilitate previously unseen features.
Aspid has also revolutionized its cars brake system with a unique design that changes the old principle where heat is accumulated by the disks to swiftly dissipating it in order to achieve class leading braking performance with extraordinary resistance to fade. This performance is comparable to conventional and carbon-carbon brakes, but without the problem of having to warm them up.
The suspension arms in cold resistant aerospace extruded aluminium reduce the weight of the un-sprung mass, which together with the super-solid and high performance ALEXCOM chassis, which weighs less than 90kg, delivers a vehicle that can set new standards for innovation, lightweight technology and excellent vehicle dynamics.
“Aspid Cars represents a unique business model driven by a high level of passion,” says Fernández. ”The GT-21 is a lifestyle model closely connected to the exciting world of sports cars and the unmistakable sense of freedom and emotions felt when driving a machine with the highest levels of performance. The company is also driven by technology and design, with a boundless obsession for craftsmanship and a passion for building something truly unique.”