10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars - story fullscreen Fullscreen

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars

These 10 exotic cars started life as more mass-produced models, but have gotten new identities

In recent times, it’s boutique manufacturers who, often, come up with the most interesting designs. That said, almost all boutique manufacturers face one significant limitation – financial resources. Because of this, almost all boutique manufacturers source the important bits – engine, chassis, drivetrain, etc. – from big companies. Without further due, here are some of the most successful boutique cars, based on more popular models, from larger manufacturers.

Salaff C2

The Salaff C2 Was Designed by the Same Guy Behind the Mazda3 and MX-5 Miata
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Born in an artistic family, Carlos Salaff is an ex-Mazda designer, responsible for models like the Mazda 3, Mazda MX-5 Miata, and the Mazda Furai. Like other specialists who have worked for big manufacturers, Salaff went on to create his own car. The Salaff C2 was introduced at the 2018 Concourse d’Elegance, at Pebble Beach. The car is based on a Lamborghini Gallardo, but features an entirely redesigned exterior. Although you might spot a few design elements, reminiscent of the Lamborghini Veneno, Egoista, or Sesto Elemento, the car looks very distinctive.

The Salaff C2 Was Designed by the Same Guy Behind the Mazda3 and MX-5 Miata
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The Gallardo’s 5.0-liter V-10 engine has been left untouched, but Salaff converted the car to rear-wheel drive and replaced the E-Gear transmission with a manual, for purer driving experience. Customers seeking to acquire a C2 must bring their own Lamborghini Gallardo. The body is made out of carbon fiber or hand-beaten aluminum. Only a handful of the Salaff C2 were built.

Check out more details on the Salaff C2

Zagato Iso Rivolta GTZ

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Zagato is one of the renowned design studios from Italy and has made stunning bodies for many carmakers. In 2021, the Italian design studio decided to create a modern-day successor to the Iso Rivolta A3C, by taking a Corvette C7 and giving it a bespoke body.

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Actually, the Iso Rivolta GTZ is truer to its roots than you may realize. Even the original A3C was based on a Corvette and powered by a GM-sourced V-8, which is why the GTZ follows the same recipe. The engine is a modified version of the C7 Corvette Z06 one. However, the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 has been enlarged to 6.8 liters, which means is packs more than the standard 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet (881 Nm). A Zagato Iso Rivolta GTZ will set you back $1.35 million.

Iso Rivolta GTZ specifications
Engine 6.8-liter supercharged V-8
Power 650 HP
Torque 650 LB-FT
Price $1.35 million

Read our full review on the Zagato Iso Rivolta GTZ

VLF Force 1

2017 VLF Force 1
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Designed by Henrik Fisker, the VLF Force One was based on the fifth-generation Dodge Viper. VLF Automotive also enlisted the help of racing driver, Ben Keating who had experience with the Viper V-10 engine. The car featured a completely redesigned exterior, inspired by the F22 Raptor. The interior was still the familiar Viper cockpit, but with more upscale upholstery. The 8.4-liter V-10 was modified to produce 745 horsepower and 638 pound-feet (865 Nm), but was left normally aspirated. Only 5 of the intended 50 cars were made. Each VLF Force One had a price tag of $286,000.

VLF Force One specifications
Engine 8.4-liter V-10
Power 745 HP
Torque 638 LB-FT
Price $286,000

Read our full review on the VLF Force 1

Drako GTE

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars Exterior
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Drako Motors launched its super-EV in August 2019. The Drako GTE is based on the Karma Revero GT and is a collection of crazy figures. Thanks to four electric motors – one for each wheel – it packs 1,200 horsepower and 6,491 pound-feet (8,800 Nm). Drako GTE is capable of sprinting to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 2.0 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 206 mph (332 km/h). Thanks to a 90 kWh battery, the Drako also boasts a range of 250 miles (402 km) on a single charge. If you want one, be prepared to part with $1.25 million.

Drako GTE specifications
Powertrain four electric motors
Power 1,200 HP
Torque 6,491 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 2.0 seconds
Top Speed 206 mph
Price $286,000

Read our full review on the Drako GTE

Austro-Daimler Bergmeister ADR 630

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
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Austro-Daimler is an old Austro-Hungarian company that functioned from 1899 to 1934. It was also a subsidiary of Daimler Motor Corporation. As such, it is not surprising that this attempt to revive the long-defunct brand involves a Mercedes SLS AMG donor car. The Austro-Daimler Bergmeister ADR 630 is based on the winged Mercedes, but shares little else with it, apart from the gull-wing doors.

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
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Propulsion is entrusted to a plug-in hybrid powertrain, consisting of three electric motors and a 3.0-liter M256 twin-turbo inline-six engine, familiar from the current AMG 53 models. Each electric motor provides 271 horsepower while the Mercedes inline-six packs 385 horsepower. This means a total output of 1,198 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet (1,600 Nm). The 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint takes 2.5 seconds with a top speed of over 200 mph (322 km/h). The 55 kWh battery allows for 156 miles (251 km) of range, purely on electricity.

Austro-Daimler Bergmeister ADR 630 specifications
Powertrain 3.0-liter M256 twin-turbo inline-six+ 3 electric motors
Power 1,198 HP
Torque 1,180 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 2.5 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph
Range 156 miles

Devon GTX

Devon GTX Sets One-Lap Record at Laguna Seca
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Devon Motorworks is a Los Angeles-based design studio that presented a more retro-futuristic look for the Dodge Viper. The Devon GTX is based on the fourth-generation Dodge Viper and even retains the original canopy, even though it now has butterfly doors, which include part of the roof. Every other part of the exterior, however, was completely redesigned from carbon fiber, to give the car a more classic look.

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
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The 8.4-liter V-10 was mildly modified so it produced 650 horsepower. It was mated to a Tremec TR6060, six-speed manual. Only 36 examples were made. In 2012, one sold for $220,000, on a Barrett-Jackson auction. To this day, the Devon GTX remains one of the best Viper-based cars, ever made.

Devon GTX specifications
Powertrain 8.4-liter V-10
Power 650 HP
Transmission Tremec TR6060, six-speed manual
Price $220,000

Check out more details on the Devon GTX

Ares Design S1

2021 Ares Design S1 Exterior
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When the C8 Corvette came out in 2019, it took the world by storm. The first production, mid-engine Corvette caught the attention of boutique car manufacturers too, including the Modena-based design studio, Ares Design. The Italian company came up with the C8-based Ares Design S1, which shared only the underpinnings with the American sports car.

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars Exterior
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The S1 seems to combine elements from some of the greatest hypercars ever made, such as the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg Agera, Pagani Huayra, and LaFerrari. However, unlike them, it “only” costs $650,000. The 6.2-liter Chevrolet V-8 has also been tweaked so it now makes 705 horsepower, which allows for a 2.6-second sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h). With a production run of only 24 examples, the S1 is much rarer than the C8 it’s based on.

Ares Design S1 specifications
Powertrain 6.2-liter Chevrolet V-8
Power 705 HP
0 to 60 mph 2.6 seconds

Read our full review on the Ares Design S1

Hispano Suiza Maguari HS1 GTC

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
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The carmaker from Switzerland is still, very much, alive and kicking, and their latest creation – the Maguari HS1 GTC – proves it. It’s named after a South American stork, which is the brand’s traditional logo. The basis for the HS1 GTC is a Lamborghini Huracan. The 5.2-liter V-10 has been twin-turbocharged so it makes 1,070 horsepower and 774 pound-feet (1,050 Nm).

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
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It’s also mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that sends power to the rear wheels, which results in a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 236 mph (380 km/h). The company plans to build 300 units, each with a price tag of $2.5 million.

Hispano Suiza Maguari HS1 GTC specifications
Engine 5.2-liter V-10
Power 1,070 HP
Torque 774 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 2.8 seconds
Top Speed 236 mph
Price $2.5 million

Check out more details on the Hispano Suiza Maguari HS1 GTC

Bertone Mantide

Bertone's ZR1-based Mantide unveiled
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Bertone Mantide actually started life as a Corvette C6 ZR-1, which was completely redesigned. The result was introduced at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show. Thanks to the Bertone-designed carbon-fiber body, the Mantide was 220 pounds (100 kg) lighter than the C6 Corvette ZR-1.

Bertone's ZR1-based Mantide unveiled
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The 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 remained unchanged, as it made 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet (819 Nm). Power still went to the rear through a Tremec TR6060, six-speed manual. This was good for a 3.2-second sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h) and a top speed of 218 mph (351 km/h). A total of 10 cars were supposed to be made, but only one exists. Its original price tag was set at $1.9 million. The car was reportedly auctioned off last year.

Bertone Mantide specifications
Engine 6.2-liter supercharged V-8
Power 638 HP
Torque 604 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 3.2 seconds
Top Speed 218 mph
Price $1.9 million

Check out more details on the Bertone Mantide

Ares Design Panther

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
- image 984779

Before the Ares Design S1, we mentioned earlier, the Modena-based design studio came up with a spiritual successor to the De Tomaso Pantera. But while the original combined Italian design with American V-8 power (and a German transaxle), its spiritual successor is all-Italian. That’s because the Ares Design Panther started life as a Lamborghini Huracan.

10 Boutique Supercars, Based On Popular Sports Cars
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It even retains the raging bull’s 5.2-liter normally-aspirated V-10 makes 650 horsepower and 442 pound-feet (600 Nm). With a 3.1-second sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h) and a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h), the Ares Design Panther is way quicker than the De Tomaso Pantera. The V-10 is mated to a sequential gearbox, but more importantly, the Ares Design Panther features a gated shifter, despite not being a manual. Prices for the Panther start from $700,000.

Ares Design Panther specifications
Engine 5.2-liter normally-aspirated V-10
Power 650 HP
Torque 442 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 3.1 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph
Price $700,000

Read our full review on the Ares Design Panther

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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