Supercars and hypercars are now just a dime a dozen, but this one stands out from the crowd in many ways. This is Czinger 21C, where 21C stands for 21st century. And the company created by founder Kevin Czinger (pronounced like “singer”) isn’t just shopping to build a signature high-power exotic car.
The 21C with its unusual seating arrangement is much more innovative, as Kevin Czinger and his son Luke explained to Motor1.com in a private interview at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Motor1: An amazing car, especially from the inside. The cockpit looks like straight out of a plane.
Luke Czinger: Correctly. Our inspiration was the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a spy plane with a top speed of Mach 3.3.
Kevin Czinger: This inspired us to do a 1+1 seating arrangement. There’s also a lot of “form follows function” in it. We pay great attention to the aerodynamic performance of the car. There’s also more room for fenders, etc., to create downforce. The car produces up to 2.5 tons of downforce at 200 mph (322 km/h), which is the highest downforce ever achieved on a production car.
Motor1: One of the questions you may hear often: Why build another supercar?
Czinger: I think you are asking the right question. If this is just another supercar, absolutely not! What is shown here is something that has never been seen before in the world. The entire manufacturing process is based on digital tools that allow engineers to perfectly mold their technical creativity into form. The mold is printed on a machine with the materials we design and then assembled.
Motor1: Vehicle engine and powertrain developed by you?
Czinger: This is our own powertrain. You want the ultimate car that you can drive in electric mode to grab a slice of pizza, and then hit the track and break records.
Motor1: So this is an awesome powertrain, but not rocket science?
Czinger: You walk in and it’s like driving an electric car at low speed to the supermarket. Then when you go to the race track, you use the engine power and the electric motor power. And then it really is a horse racing beast. The great thing about it is, it’s a production car which, the faster you go, the more linear it becomes. Cut into corners, out of corners.
We develop our own design software, our own manufacturing technology and materials, and our own assembly system from scratch. That’s the reason why cars can beat brands like McLaren or Aston Martin on the track, not because we do what they do better. We did something different.
Czinger 21C: A Closer Look
Now, let’s take a closer look at 21C’s technology: The hybrid powertrain is based on what Czinger claims is the world’s most powerful production internal combustion engine per displacement. It’s a 2.88-liter V8 with a flat crankshaft and two turbos arranged in the center of the vehicle. That alone makes 950 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of maximum torque.
The V8 is coupled with an 800-volt electric drive and a regeneration system. An electric motor drives each front wheel, and the battery is recharged during operation by regenerative braking and a motor generator unit (MGU) using a gearbox mounted on the combustion engine. The whole powerful hybrid system produces a peak output of 1250 hp. The powertrain also includes a seven-speed sequential transaxle with an electro-hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch.
The Czinger 21C, the first model in a limited series of 80 exclusive high-performance vehicles, is partially manufactured using additive manufacturing technology. Every component made with this technology is computer designed using artificial intelligence, optimized for weight and performance, and finished by hand.
The 21C features significant updates since its first public unveiling in March 2020 ahead of the canceled Geneva Motor Show, including an updated 80.7-inch width. With 1,250 hp and a dry weight of less than 2,734 pounds, the 21C achieves a true 1:1 power-to-weight ratio. That’s before the optional 100-hp upgrade that increases the total output to 1350 hp. In addition, the 21C is designed to operate on a variety of fuels, including recycled methanol and other electronic fuels, so it can operate as a zero-emissions vehicle. Officially, it gets 22.6 miles per gallon according to the WLTP standard.
With the driver and front passenger in center position for optimal weight distribution, aerodynamics and driver engagement, the 21C hits 62 mph in 1.9 seconds and completes the quarter mile in 8.1 seconds. Stick to throttle and it’ll hit 186 mph in 13.8 seconds, with 248 mph (400 km/h) arriving in 21.3 seconds. Top speed is listed as 253 mph (407 km/h). The 21C has a lift-to-drag ratio greater than 3:1, with 1,356 lbs of downforce at 100 mph and that 2.5 tons (5,512 pounds to be specific) at 200 mph in the high downforce configuration.
Those numbers translate into impressive real-world performance. Czinger drove to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas and beat the previous lap record for a production vehicle made by the McLaren P1 by more than six seconds. 21C in full road trim with full interior, lights and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires. The record time was set on September 23, 2021, with driver Joel Miller at the helm. A lap time of 2:11:33 is recorded using several GPS systems. The previous record was 2:17:12.
This hypercar is designed, engineered and manufactured in Los Angeles. It uses cutting-edge technology integrated into a patented production system. The system includes automated AI-based optimization and design software, patented additive manufacturing processes, high-precision automated assembly and high-performance new materials.
Every component developed, molded, and computationally assembled is at the limit of theoretical performance. For example, the front upper control arm is perforated and has an internal structure that allows significant weight savings compared to conventional tool-based variants, thereby substantially reducing unmounted mass.
The 21C is highly customizable, both in terms of specifications and individual designs. The 21C is presented in two completely homologated specifications, a lightweight high downforce configuration and a low drag configuration.
During the Goodwood festival, Czinger also launched its partnership with Alcantara, an Italian company with a strong presence in the automotive, design, fashion, consumer electronics and marine industries. This partnership makes sense for Czinger and Alcantara as the companies are committed to sustainability, placing style and innovation at the heart of each other’s businesses. The two design teams worked together to develop innovative applications for Alcantara’s lightweight material and personalize the interior of the Czinger 21C.
The fully homologated Czinger 21Cs are slated for delivery in late 2023. They will be developed and manufactured in America and will cost around $2 million, but the story doesn’t end with the 21C. Czinger revealed that a lower-priced four-seater model will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Czinger: We want to make high-performance cars at lower volumes so we can always offer the latest developments. But we have the technology that can create completely new and different structures without investing in new casting and stamping tools, so we can make very different cars. By the end of the decade, by 2030, you’ll have six or seven different models, each one going to be very different and define a slightly different segment.