For most people who will never drive one, the defining trait of a supercar is its doors. Specifically, how they open. Ideally, it’s novel and dramatic and unexpected. We’ve been using the same three or four basic supercar door designs for decades now, but Rezvani has finally introduced a genuinely new one, as part of their Lotus-based Beast Alfa sportscar.
I’ve been an advocate for new supercar door designs for a while now, so I’m very pleased to see that at least one automaker has taken the leap to try something new. After all, doors are what defines a supercar in the collective unconscious, right? You remember this from Silicon Valley:
That’s why I think crazy doors were probably the best thing Rezvani could spend their R&D money on, really.
Now, many of you may point to Koenigsegg’s upwards-rotating doors as an example of a recent innovation. And you may be right, but I tend to think of them as a novel variant of the scissor door, which hails from 1968.
Still, I’m not totally certain, so if you want to think of it as the first new supercar door design since Koenigsegg, I’m cool with that. Even if you don’t think Rezvani qualifies as a ‘supercar’ maker, which you may be right about, too.
We’ve had a sort of checkered relationship with Rezvani here at Jalopnik; originally, based on the way they were handling their early marketing, I really wasn’t sure if the company was genuine or not. Eventually, I was able to meet with Ferris Rezvani himself, see the Beast actually being built at their facility, and all was right in the world.
The Beast is an Ariel Atom-based open car with an optional windshield. While I admire how hardcore that is, it does limit your potential market. That’s why Rezvani developed their new car, the Beast Alpha, which is a closed coupé designed for more interior comfort.
Here’s a promo video they made for the Alpha, where a man with a strange and alarming medical condition gets to drive one out into the desert, presumably to die:
The Alpha is based on a Lotus platform instead of an Atom, but it still uses the same Acura 2.4-liter four as the beast, only here it’s supercharged instead of turbocharged, and makes about 500 HP. The car weighs under 2000 lbs, so it stays pretty damn quick – 3.2 seconds from snoozing to 60 MPH.
But that’s not the big news here. The big news is these doors.
Rezvani calls them Sidewinder doors, and they are unexpected and dramatic to see in action. I think they’re actually descendents of the humble minivan sliding door, just reversed (they ‘slide’ forward), trackless, and they use a hugely oversized hinge/pivot arm to swing the door itself out and forward.
The door opening action is a sort of gentle swing-out-and-slide-forward thing. While I think it likely requires less space on the side of the car than a conventional hinged door, because the entire door assembly swings out from the body of the car, it does require a decent amount of clearance, and a high curb (like many in LA) could be a potentially scrapey obstacle.
Still, overall, I really like the door mechanism.
It looks like the Beast Alfa will be going for about $200,000. If you’re loaded and want something that stands out, this seems like a solid choice. Lotus handling bits and a reliable Acura engine should be a good combination as well.
Hopefully, we’ll get to drive one soon and let you know what it’s like. Or, at least maybe we’ll get to open and close the doors a few times until they ask us to leave.