Looking like something out of a futuristic sci-fi flick, the Caparo T1 represents the ultimate expression of function over form. It's street-legal in much of the world, though its body is little more than a thin carbon fiber skin over a race car chassis.
Caparo, a British marque, was founded by a pair of engineers responsible for much of the legendary McLaren F1's design and development. Their goal for the Caparo T1 was to create a Formula 1 car that would be legal for use on the streets of Britain - an ambitious goal they achieved in late 2007.
This lofty target was met by wrapping an aerodynamic carbon fiber body over a carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque structure including a glassed-in cabin capable of snugly fitting two passengers.
The driver's seat is slightly forward of the passenger's seat in order to reduce the vehicle's width. Multiple wings and spoilers look more akin to an open-wheel race car than a road going car and the front wheels are separated from the body just like a Formula 1 car's wheels. The only difference is that the Caparo T1's wheels are covered in thin fenders in order to stay road legal.
The mid-mounted 3.5-liter turbocharged V8 pumps out 575 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque and will spin up to 10,500 rpms - not too far off race car engine speeds.
A six-speed sequential transmission controlled by shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel provides ultra-fast shifts and allows the T1 to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in less than 2.5 seconds when equipped with the right tires.
According to the manufacturer, top speed is reached at 205 mph with the adjustable suspension lowered all around for additional downforce and improved aerodynamics.
Aside from true race cars, the Caparo T1's rivals include ultra-performance machines like the Ariel Atom 500, the Bugatti Veyron and the Koenigsegg Agera R.