Richard Dredge
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Richard Dredge
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Richard Dredge

Weber Faster One prototype

Could the original Weber Faster One be the world’s ugliest car? Quite possibly

Supercar makers have a habit of turning up the hyperbole to the max, but in the case of Swiss company Weber Sportcar, it really did produce something extra special with the Faster One, although a more apt name would be the Uglier One. Looking as though it was styled by a five-year old, the Faster One certainly had presence.

In 1988, Roman Weber started his own company after completing an apprenticeship as a toolmaker before then completing a degree in mechanical engineering. His company's initial focus was on medical instruments, but by 1990 he had already added the manufacture of high-tech components for F1 and German Touring Cars to his product line-up. Weber's company expanded throughout the 1990s which included a move to much bigger premises, then in 2002 he set up Weber Sportcars with the sole intention of creating the world's fastest  street-legal car. By 2005 this new supercar had its own factory, alongside Weber's existing building in Tobel.

Launched on to an unsuspecting public at the 2007 Top Marques show in Monaco, the Weber Faster One was a Top Trump player's wet dream, as it brought with it a raft of over-the-top figures. For example, there was a mid-mounted twin-supercharged 7.0-litre Chevrolet LS7 V8 engine that was capable of churning out a claimed 888bhp (900 metric horsepower), which was transmitted to the Tarmac via an intelligent four-wheel drive transmission that allowed up to 36% of the available torque to be sent to the front wheels. As a result, the car was supposedly capable of accelerating from 0-62mph (0-100kmh) in 2.5 seconds, 0-124mph (0-200kmh) in 6.6 seconds and 0-187mph (0-300kmh) in all of 16.2 seconds.

Thanks to its ultra-light (just 65kg) and incredibly aerodynamic carbonfibre bodyshell, the Faster One was also capable of a claimed top speed of 250mph (not that anyone ever got to officially verify this of course). At the time this would have made the Faster One the world's fastest street-legal car; a claim that Weber wasn't shy to mention at every opportunity.

Priced at 1.62 million Swiss Francs without taxes (around £850,000), the Faster One was claimed to have more downforce than any other road-legal car; indeed, only track-ready racers could beat the Weber on this score. To make the car as slippery as possible there weren't even any door handles; instead there were buttons that opened the doors electrically.

The underside of the Faster One was fitted with flush-fitting undertrays, while at the rear an aerofoil could be deployed in just 50 milliseconds to act as an air brake, when slowing from ultra-high speeds. Incredibly, there were four fuel tanks fitted in a bid to achieve the perfect 50:50 weight distribution; between them they could store up to 110 litres of petrol.

At the time the wheels were among the biggest on the market, as up front they were 10J x 20 (with 285/25 ZR20 rubber) while at the back they were 13J x 20 covered in 325/25 ZR20 tyres. Such huge wheels were essential because the brakes were similarly massive. There were 380 x 34mm carbon-ceramic discs all round, with 12-piston callipers which Weber developed in-house.

Although the Faster One was intended to be the world's fastest car, buyers didn't have to forego luxuries such as power steering, climate control, electric windows and a rear-view camera. For those who wanted more there were various entertainment packages available including a TV and internet access, so that emails could be checked while cruising the autobahn at 200mph.

Naturally the Weber Faster One got plenty of media coverage when it arrived, but nobody ever got to drive one and the project soon disappeared – only to resurface in 2013 as a redesigned car, now with a V10 engine.

 

Vital statistics
Engine Mid-mounted, 7011cc, twin-supercharged V8
Transmission 6-speed semi-auto, four-wheel drive
Power 888bhp at 7000rpm
Torque 774lb ft at 3900rpm
Top speed 400kmh+ (250mph, claimed)
0-62mph 2.5 seconds (claimed)
Price 1,620,000 swiss francs

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