The ‘c’ in Czinger is silent. But the Czinger 21C is not. In fact, this car is making noise for all sorts of good reasons. A California-based startup, Czinger Vehicles is looking to revolutionise the car manufacturing process altogether.
As some have already pointed out, the car making process hasn’t evolved a whole lot since the days of the Ford Model T. There is an assembly line and various bits of the car are put together along the way, usually using lots of metals stamped into shape with moulds. However, the Czinger approach uses 3D printing, aka additive manufacturing, for many chunks of the chassis design. Combined with that is a setup of automated robotic arms taking up around 15×15 metres of space that can make upto 10,000 chassis units a year. You program it to make the car you want to, and if you want to reassign it, just load in the other design program. No need to muck about with different assembly lines. Just make sure you get your software right. The 21C is Czinger’s proof of concept.
While the main structural supports are still made of aluminium and titanium, the use of 3D printing allows for more complex designs that have been calculated to meet various stress and performance requirements while using the least amount of material necessary. As a result, you get very intricate designs that are often hollowed out which makes the final product lighter as well. Whatever doesn’t need to be metal is 3D printed carbon fibre for added lightness. It’s the art of coachbuilding in the digital century.
The 21C features a central seating design, i.e., the driver sits in the middle of the car. But unlike a McLaren, the Czinger hypercar takes inspiration from superbikes and places the passenger directly behind the driver. It makes sense as the brand’s founder Kevin Czinger is also a biking enthusiast. So, the 21C is designed to have the optimal driving feel and weight distribution. It’s cosy but it has an airy glass cabin for a spacious feeling. The driver is faced with a racing-style squared-off steering wheel with a digital instrument cluster while the car’s touchscreen infotainment system is towards the left, ergonomically positioned to be easy to use but not distractive. As per the Jack Rix walkthrough, the rear passenger’s legs are meant to go either side of the driver (like a bike) and can enter the cabin from either side.
In terms of exterior design, the Czinger 21C is quite sleek and narrow thanks to its unique seating layout. That means the flesh around the cabin is sculpted to be quite aerodynamic and slippery while the scoops and fins and wings give it the downforce to keep it planted at speed. With the track package, the 21C features an extended front splitter, wider side sills, a large rear wing and canards on the front wheel arches for around 790kg of downforce. Even in stock road variant, it is heavily aero-engineered for an exciting driving experience. With its dihedral doors open, you realise just how long each door is and how magnificent it looks in terms of design.
The Czinger approach to efficiency is carried forward in the powertrain of the 21C as well. No no, it’s not electric. It’s a hybrid. Behind the seats is one of the world’s most condensed performance engine package — a 2.88-litre, flat crank, twin-turbo V8 making 930hp that drives the rear wheels. On top of that, it has two electric motors on the front axle for AWD torque vectoring and a combined performance number of 1250hp. The engine is mated to a 7-speed sequential transaxle gearbox to bang through the gears. Each motor is powered by high-discharge 1kWh lithium-titanate batteries housed in its wide sills, a bit like the Nio EP9. By the way, Mr Czinger says that the engine hits peak 950hp at 11,000rpm so it’s going to sound amazing too. The whole powertrain is also built and designed in-house by Czinger.
Combining its extremely performance-dense powertrain with the lightweight design bringing its kerb weight to 1250kg, the Czinger 21C has a 1:1 power to weight ratio. As I said, the Czinger priority of efficiency is at the very core of the 21C. The balance gets skewed in favour of performance with the track pack that deletes the rear seat entirely to make the car even lighter with a kerb weight of 1218kg.
It’s not just a concept either, Czinger has been testing it quite extensively and has taken it around a few American racetracks too like Laguna Seca. In terms of straight-line acceleration, the 21C is extremely quick — 0 to 100kph in 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 432kph. Even more impressive are its acceleration and deceleration times: 0-300-0kph in 15 seconds and 0-400-0kph in just 29 seconds.
The 21C will be a rather exclusive offering too with an estimated production of 90 cars in total. The first batch will be taken up by 25 track cars, which can be certified for road use in the USA starting production in 2021. Those will be followed by 65 units of a homologated model that will be sold in global markets as well. The Czinger 21C has a starting price of USD 1.7 million before optional packages with a high degree of personalised customization. It just remains to be seen what the world’s luckiest car reviewers have to say about how it drives.
I’m excited to see if this revolutionary, 3D-printed American hypercar can hold its own amidst the likes of the Aston Martin Valkyrie, Mercedes-AMG One, Bugatti Chiron, Koenigseggs and Paganis. On paper, things are looking good for the Czinger 21C which will make its public debut on 3rd March at the Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.
Explore the Czinger 21C in the gallery below and share your thoughts on it in the comment section.