Let's face it. It's hard to design a new exotic supercar. The most timeless shapes were spoken for years ago, and every exotic since then has been just a derivative mishmash of science fiction and aerodynamics optimization (especially the homemade ones). That's not to say a car like the Lamborghini Gallardo isn't good looking in its own way, or that the Aston Martin DB9 isn't a luscious piece of eye candy. It's just that those traditional parameters of automotive beauty—see any Ferrari built before 1972—no longer exist. Without a clear vision, a modern designer looking to challenge expectations can easily find himself rudderless. Take the latest supercar from Switzerland's Weber Sportscars for example.Weighing just 1,984 pounds, the Weber Faster One (seriously) is powered by a 900-horsepower twin-supercharged V8 based on the same 7.0-liter LS7 found in Chevrolet's Corvette Z06. Weber boffins created the Faster One's six-speed sequential gearbox and AWD system in-house. The latter system can send up to 36 percent of torque to the front wheels. The company reports zero-to 100 km/h (62 mph) in an astonishing 2.7 seconds, with a top speed—yet to be verified by a third party -- of 248 mph. Those number put it in range of the $1.4 million Bugatti Veyron, a car whose so-so looks are augmented by the brilliant engineering exercise beneath its skin. Not so with the Weber.
Either you love the design or think it'd be better suited for the prequel of John Travolta's "Battleship Earth," should, heaven forbid, such a movie be made. And it'll take quite a quantity of love, and money, to take home the Weber Faster One. The company is asking 1.6 million Swiss francs ($1.5 million) for the honor. There's probably a myopic banker from Zurich kicking the tires this very minute.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.