If your goal is to build a lightweight car devoid of purpose save going quickly and excitedly around a race track, it makes a lot of sense to remove as much superfluous ephemera as you can from the get go. That’s what the Corso Concepts team have been doing for the last two and a half years, apparently. They took the idea of a track car and stripped it down to the bare minimum requirements. Starting with a blank sheet, they figured out everything they didn’t need and just left it on the cutting room floor. Fenders, passenger seats, roofs, fourth wheels, all of it ditched in the name of lightweight and speed.
In the end you have a 1,000 pound car powered by a Hayabusa motor that spins to 11,000 rpm. You don’t really need to know more than that to understand that the car is going to be an absolute riot to drive, do you? Those two statistics are pretty good telltales to let you know more or less what this experience is going to be. The car can be made to work with all three Hayabusa generations, but let’s go with the 2nd gen’s 1340 ccs of liquid-cooled DOHC inline-four, which means you’ve got a claimed 197 horsepower and 102.3 lb-ft of torque to work with. That’s a power to weight ratio that even a Lotus Exige couldn’t match.
The chassis — unbelievably at this weight — is constructed of steel tube with a composite carbon body laid over the top of it. The front suspension is a motorsport-inspired pushrod setup with double-adjustable shocks from the factory. You get billet uprights, Wilwood brakes, adjustable pedals, the works! Out back you get a custom single-sided swingarm and a giant meaty rear tire. The company hasn’t released exact specs of the wheels and tires, but based on the video above, they appear to be plenty grippy. Delivering over 1.4 g through a corner is mighty impressive. And it still manages to find slip angle with on-throttle corner exit. That’s my kind of ride!
As a regular rider, I don’t exactly trust myself with a Hayabusa on the street or a race track, but give it another wheel and a few hundred extra pounds and I’m immediately onboard. This sounds like fun in exactly the opposite way that a high-performance motorcycle does.
Corso Concepts, the upstart startup manufacturer behind this wild car, is based in Flint, Michigan. That’s maybe not as exotic as Maranello or Stuttgart, say, but it’s a solid dependable city, and that’s exactly what this machine looks like to me. It doesn’t come cheap, however, at a list price of $69,995 before options. It is, however, much more exclusive than any other sports car in the world for ten times that price, because Corso is only going to build between three and five of these cars per year.
You can, however, get yourself a nice discount if you choose to build the car yourself. For just $49,995 the company will deliver you all of the bits you need to build your own Corso California RT, less the engine, transmission, wiring harness, and gauges, which need to be sourced from the wrecked Hayabusa of your choice. Of which there seems to be no shortage.
If you’re thinking about buying a used Porsche GT3 Cup or Ferrari Challenge car, I’d offer your money would be much better served with this thing instead. You’ll get a car with a much higher-revving engine with much more readily available replacement parts, and you’d get the experience of wind in your face and the ability to tell your rich friends you’ve got something more exclusive than their Bugatti or whatever.
Fifty grand is a small price to pay for something so wild. And allegedly there are ways to make this bonkers machine street legal, too! Considering something like a BAC Mono would cost you six figures, this seems like a damn bargain.