Singer Vehicle Design’s new collaboration with a dream-team including Williams Advanced Engineering, Brembo, Michelin, XTC, Recaro and others is predictably incredible. Everything from the full wide-body carbonfibre suit it wears to the 4.0-litre, 9000rpm air-cooled masterpiece slung out back is the stuff of dreams. At least, for the ultra-rich.
After we’d finishing dribbling and giving it the exposure it deserves, the come-down soon delivered a fleshy slap to our collective psyche. The Dynamics and Lightweighting Study costs from $1.8 million, and according to a Top Gear interview with Rob Dickinson, the man behind Singer Vehicle Design, there’s actually not much profit margin in that.
As well as leaving us as dumbfounded as a dog’s reflection, that price provokes an inescapable sadness. Such a vast investment in a car will be beyond any of us unless you’re sitting on some kind of game-changing technology or medical miracle cure that will be worth billions by Christmas. Sure, we’re glad to know that such rarefied cars exist somewhere in the wide world, but we don’t just want to spend our lives searching for a glimpse of one at a Cars & Coffee meet. We want to own something like this.
It goes without saying that if Singer isn’t making much money out of the 75 planned examples of the 964-based restomod, the costs involved must be astronomical. To pay the kind of companies we mentioned above to create bespoke pieces of equipment just for this car costs serious dollar and it simply couldn’t be done the same way for less money.
On the other hand, there has to be another way without asking for the moon on a stick by lunchtime. We don’t need Titanimagnesicarbonium gear levers, diamond-studded fuel gauges or seat stitches made of otter whiskers. We picture straightforward but lusty projects based on old Golf GTIs, Subaru Impreza WRX STIs, the original Porsche Boxster, R56 Mini Cooper Ss, early Audi S and RS motors, Ford Focus RSs and STs; the potential modder fodder is endless. So is the catalogue of off-the-shelf upgrades.
We picture a company in the image of Singer who could ‘reimagine’ affordable classics into more than the sum of their parts with a cohesive and classy spectrum of changes. Imagine a turbocharged Mini with an engine overhaul for more power and charisma, an even sweeter gear shift, better suspension and a subtly enhanced look with a wider track, flared arches and dramatic homage-spec wheels, mimicking the effect of the deep-dish Fuchs-style BBS wheels on the Singer.
Think about a B5 Audi RS4 Avant with the same treatment. It was a great-looking car anyway, but with wider, sculpted arches, LED headlight clusters, a similar but deeper and more aggressive bumper set, a more focused set of seats and a reliable engine tune, it would be something many of us would work our backsides off to own.
That’s the point, here. We all know that, miracles aside, we’ll never be able to slap a wad of large-denomination banknotes across Singer’s metaphorical face. Instead, we want to see something built with a similar ethos over and above what most DIY mechanics could produce themselves, but scaled back to a much more realistic price point: a price point that could make ownership possible one day – even for the likes of us.