Superlite Cars are a company in the United States which provides high specification and high performance kit cars. They will also build one-off cars, especially for film or television programmes. They can turn out vintage cars or ultramodern ones, but all put together using the most up-to-date materials.
Back in 2010 a company called Exotic Rockets LLC asked them if they could build complete cars for them to a buyer's specifications. The car was to be called the Rapier Superlight and be badged as that. Exotic Automotives, as they called themselves, were going to market the car under what they called an 'aggressive payments' system; the buyer was to put down a 50% deposit right away, and then pay the rest when the car was built, which was estimated to be nine months later. The car was to be hand assembled; the lucky buyer could actually look at photographs of every stage of the building via a special web portal.
And what a car this was going to be. With a choice of engines up to a 7 litre V8 and up to a claimed 638 hp a maximum speed of 222 mph was claimed, with nought to 60 within 3.2 seconds. The engine was to sit behind the driver and passengers to give optimum weight distribution.
With scissor doors, an aircraft style cockpit, top and side scoops to feed cooling air to the engine, and a huge rear wing the car was going to certainly looked the part. The name 'superlite' was to be taken literally as well; the use of aluminium for the engine casting, chassis and suspension members kept the weight down to just over a claimed 1000 kg.
It didn't end there. The car was to be designed around the individual buyer's dimensions; the range of optional extras, trims and gadgets was vast. The price was seemingly quite reasonable as well; US$120,000 was mentioned at first but this settled at around $180,000; still not bad for a supercar.
On a closer examination the car that they were advertising was not really much different to the Superlite SL-C which was available directly from Superlite as a component car for substantially less money.
Potential buyers may have been put off by the fact that very little information was available about Exotic Rockets LLC and their website did little more than show a few photographs but contained no real information. It appears that two cars did actually exist, which were to have been used as show cars but there is no record of any others being built. Whether or not any potential buyers paid deposits on them is not known and after 2012 the company seems to have vanished.
In the meanwhile Superlite are still very much in business producing, apparently, excellent products and giving good value for money. Perhaps those who want to have a car similar to the ones that they produce built should approach them directly in the first place.
The two existing Rapier Superlites, one red and one black, are now in the hands of private buyers.