By Ronan Glon
Tuesday, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 5:58 am
 
In 1979, a small American fiberglass manufacturer called Alessi Fiberglass traveled to the New York Motor Show to display the AR-1, a Buick V6-engined sports car with a fiberglass body.

The car received a warm welcome at the time and a few examples were reportedly built. However, it soon vanished into the annals of automotive history and the company went back to making fiberglass.

Fast forward to 2012 and Alessi has come back to the New York show to display an updated version of the AR-1. Instead of a Buick V6, the car is now powered by a mid-mounted Corvette-sourced 6.2-liter V8 engine. The mill is bolted to a six-speed manual transmission which sends power to the rear wheels.

Thanks to the use of a supercharger, the V8 is rated at 600 horsepower at 6,200 rpms, and 580 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpms. The car hits 60 miles per hour from a dead stop in 3.4 seconds.

If that is not enough, the supercharger can be replaced by two turbochargers, which bumps the engine's output up to 750 horsepower and 690 lb-ft of twist.

To keep the weight down to just 3,196 pounds, the car's chassis is made out of eleven gauge steel, and the body is fashioned out of hand-laid fiberglass with steel reinforcement.

The race-inspired instrument panel features eight separate analog gauges mounted on a fiberglass cluster. A Sparco steering wheel, cut pile carpeting, a backup camera and power bucket seats all come standard.

Alessi plans on building only fifty examples of the AR-1. No price figure was given.