Currently reading: Czinger to follow up 21C hypercar "sooner than you expect"
New Californian brand intends to follow 21C with other premium sporting models, using its innovative 3D printing production method
News
5 mins read
11 March 2020

New California brand Czinger hasn’t long pulled the covers off its first production model, the 21C hybrid hypercar, but a plan is already in place to quickly expand its portfolio.

Speaking to Autocar at the first public debut of the 21C in London (a starring debut at the ill-fated Geneva motor show was intended), chief commercial officer Jens Sverdrup confirmed that Czinger was “not a hypercar brand, but a car brand”.

“There are other models coming that are well in development, so they will come sooner than you expect… we are a performance brand. The business plan from day one is that [our cars] will be the market leaders. So whatever segment we enter we will lead in terms of technology, innovation, performance, light-weighting.

“All will have very power-dense drivetrains and extreme performance. But we’re not gonna do a Mustang - it will always be luxury, supercar focused”.

Sverdrup didn’t rule out an SUV, either, but said it’s not an immediate priority. “If we’re going to do an SUV it’s going to be really light and really fast. It wouldn’t be the first thing we brought to market though.

“We’re a very new brand - nobody can tell us not to build an SUV because we don’t have any baggage. But it’s a high volume segment - maybe we’re not ready for that”.

The 21C is manufactured using innovative 3D printing and automation techniques, where computers calculate the necessary parameters (strength, weight, cost) of a specific component and then build it from either a composite or metal alloy, exactly to the required specifications.

It is powered by an in-house developed 2.88-litre twin-turbo V8, driving the rear wheels via a seven-speed automated manual transmission, That engine itself puts out around 950bhp on its own and revs to 11,000rpm, and is supplemented by two front-mounted, torque vectoring electric motors. These are fed by a 2kWh fast-charging lithium-titanate battery, topped up by a rear-mounted motor generator.

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In the track-spec launch car, which Sverdrup said will be delivered to customers towards the end of 2021, the total output is put at 1,174bhp. But in 2022 the fully homologated road-going examples will be delivered, with 1233bhp. Both cars are very light, even the less stripped-out road-going car weighs just 1,250kg. A 1+1 tandem seating layout is featured, and the price is around £1.4 million, depending on market.

Both Sverdrup and Czinger’s chief technical officer, Jon Gunner, sat down with Autocar to explain the company and car in more detail.

You’re both formerly of rival Koenigsegg. What made you switch to Czinger?

Gunner: "I was at Koenigsegg for 12 years. I felt like we’d done everything we could. I wanted to work somewhere where we can start from a clean sheet, and when I saw Czinger was really doing that I was enticed.

“I believe in small, agile teams to get things done quickly - back to my days working on the 2005 Ford GT with a tiny team and quick development, all through my years at Koenigsegg. I brought that ethos here.”

What is it about Czinger that makes it different from the myriad hypercar startups?

Sverdrup: “First of all, most of these cars kind of look the same lately - when you have a curtain over them they look the same. I think if you put one over this it looks completely different.

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"Every now and then a genuine company comes along with genuine technology that will benefit mankind. I must have seen 200 brands come and go - only the ones that really have something special survive. We have our own technology, our own design, our own methods, and that’s unique.

“Our financial backing is paid up front - we don’t need to wait to sell a car to pay our backers. It’s not a mock-up waiting for finance - these cars you see here are fully driveable”.

Why not go electric, as is the fashion nowadays?

Sverdrup: “If it was better, we would have done it!”

Gunner: “With the requirements and targets we had it wasn’t achievable with electric propulsion. Our ethos is light-weighting and power density, and this is the best way to do it."

Your founder, Kevin Czinger, describes your additive manufacturing process as something that could revolutionise the industry. How does it benefit you?

Gunner: “You put the material where you need it, but from an architectural point of view it gives us a lot of freedom to create architectures we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to with traditional manufacturing techniques. We also have an advantage because lead times are much shorter - it gives us the flexibility to adapt and make continual improvements.”

How is this car related to parent company Divergent’s original 3D printed car, the Blade?

Gunner: "The two cars don’t share a single component. That car was done to advertise out manufacturing process - it wasn’t an end product. When I designed this car I started from scratch - we used some design inspiration from the Blade - it was Kevin’s design - but it’s completely redesigned for proper packaging, aero performance, crash safety. "

So this car isn’t just a showcase of your manufacturing tech?

Sverdrup: "We’re not a technology company, we’re a car company. A lot of people are comparing us to Rimac: Rimac is a company in the business of licensing technology. That doesn’t mean we won’t do licensing, but that’s the business for our parent company, Divergent."

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When will you begin building and delivering the 21C, and is there more to come from the car?

Sverdrup: "We start production early next year - a customer who orders now is looking at two years until delivery. First customer cars will arrive end of 2021, but it depends on delays [due to coronavirus]

"We'll do 80 of the 21C - we're not going to squeeze anything more out of it. We have respect for our clients - we're hopeful this car won't depreciate, and we'll do everything we can to protect our customers investment."

How did the cancellation of Geneva impact you?

Sverdrup: "We were set to sell out [after Geneva]. That didn’t quite happen, but we’re still doing better than most. It has made us run around six months behind schedule in terms of orders. But we’re not going to give in because of a speed bump - it’s not the end of the world”.

READ MORE

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Peter Cavellini 11 March 2020

To boldly go.

 I'm sure it'll fast, I sure it's fully tested, but it looks a little narrow, I know it's not the first two have this seat layout ( can't for the life of me think who else did it though?) it just looks odd.

fleabane 11 March 2020

Rocket man

Gordon Murray's Rocket

Peter Cavellini 11 March 2020

Durability...

 11,000rpm, what's the service interval on this kind of engine?