Words by Ya'acov Zalel
Never heard of Mazzanti Automobili? Then be ready to hear more about them in the very near future, beginning with this exclusive interview.
CarBuzz talks to Luca Mazzanti of Mazzanti Automobili.
Mazzanti Automobili is a new automaker on the world stage that sprung out of F&M, the Italian coachbuilder that was founded some 10 years ago. The company is headed by Luca Mazzanti, one of the two F&M’s founding partners. For such a small company its structure is a bit complicated, but Mazzanti Automobili is F&M’s arm in the production of new tailor-made cars and supercars.
The first F&M series production car, if it can be described like that, was called the Antas and was launched almost five years ago. The name, which means ‘Eagle’ in the Etruscan language, is based on a front-engined rear-wheel-drive chassis developed by F&M on which various drivetrains can be installed and the customer’s body of choice can be built upon. In other words, the Antas can be made, or more specifically replicated, in various shapes. These can range from something that looks like a Ferrari
550/575/599, a Maserati
, Aston Martin
, the Jaguar XKR
, Mercedes SL/S Coupe
/CL Coupe, BMW M6 Coupe
, or even the Dodge Viper
. The Antas’ body panels are hand-beaten aluminum made with the same tools and care used by famous coachbuilders of the past. Customers who are interested in an Antas with a mid or even a rear-engine configuration will also be able to get their wish, though on a custom-made chassis.
The Evantra Arrival
Towards the end of last year, Mazzanti Automobili released details
of its latest creation, the Evantra. It is equipped with either a normally aspirated or a turbo-charged flat-six engine, which Mr. Mazzanti refuses to disclose the identity of its manufacturer, but the Evantra is defined by its creator as a ‘supercar’. In order to produce the five units that Mr. Mazzanti expects to sell every year, he opened a new facility or an ‘atelier’ (which is French for ‘workshop’), in which artisans will produce by hand the Evantra and customize it to the customer’s taste and whims. As opposed to the Antas, the Evantra will be a series production car and the customer’s wishes will be limited to the type of engine, colors and accessories.
Is the Evantra a supercar?
Mr. Mazzanti: Of course the Evantra is a supercar, but its concept is not founded on an enormous engine capacity with 1500hp and a big weight as most supercars. Its plus is the equilibrium of power-emissions-weight: the flat-six twin-turbo has 603hp and it weighs only 1,200 kg (2,645 lbs.). With these figures you can have a car as fast as a supercar, but lighter and with fewer emissions.
What’s the difference in perception between the Antas and the Evantra?
Mr. Mazzanti: The primary difference is that the Antas is a front-engine car while the Evantra is a mid-engine car. Then I can tell you that the Antas is a totally custom-made car, so apart for the style, which is more retro than that of the Evantra, the perception changes together with client’s choice. If a customer chooses to start building an Antas from a Maserati or a Mercedes powertrain he’ll end up with two different cars. The Evantra is a limited production car, so you can choose many, many customizations for the interior, accessories, engine upgrade, or an aluminum body, but obviously you can’t change totally the shape of the car or change the flat-six with a V8.
Do you see yourself continuing the way of previous Carrozzeria (a coachbuilder that manufactures bodies for automobiles)?
Mr. Mazzanti: I will continue in two ways: the first is the previous Carrozzeria as for the Antas concept and hopefully as for the “tailor made project” for the customers and the second is the small limited production of the new Evantra (five cars per year)
Which are your two or three favorite Carrozzeria and what’s unique about them?
Mr. Mazzanti: My favorite historical Carrozzeria is Zagato (in the Elio Zagato era), but I especially love the design of Franco Scaglione, who drafted for Bertone, Pininfarina, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, etc. Some of the most beautiful special cars I have seen include the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, Alfa Romeo B.A.T, Maserati Birdcage Tipo 46, ATS 2500 GT, and others.
«I have created my own style»
Do you also do classic car restorations?
Mr. Mazzanti: No, my company does new cars only, but hopefully my partner Faralli Restauri will do it, as you can see on my website. Until the end of 2009 the creations of F&M were projected and built inside the atelier of Faralli Restauri. From 2010, the increasing number of restoration projects of classic cars and the new projects under the brand F&M lead to the decision to separate these activities in two ateliers, with strong a connection and partnership with one another: Walter Faralli manages together with ‘maestro’ Mario the restoration family company, while Luca Mazzanti dedicates himself exclusively to the development of F&M projects through his own company: Mazzanti Automobili.
You have mentioned that classic and modern sports cars influenced the design of the Evantra. Can you please specify which sports cars have the most influence in your work?
Mr. Mazzanti: There isn’t a special car, apart from the influence of the Antas and the Vulca on the Evantra’s style; during these years I think I have created my own style that is different from the masses. You can love it or not, but it’s different. This is because my knowhow comes from the classic sport cars and hopefully modern cars. I spent twenty years in my job so my culture and my vision are influenced from the two different worlds.
«In this world many people want be different from others»
Why do you see such importance in the personalization of the car?
Mr. Mazzanti: Because the big and exclusive manufacturers produce hundreds of cars and they can’t offer as many options as we can on their cars. In this world many people want be different from others. They search for something really exclusive that you can’t get in a normal dealer’s showroom.
What is the balance between performance and passenger comfort in the Evantra?
Mr. Mazzanti: Obviously this is my first objective: give the client a fast car but is easy to drive and comfortable for passengers and I think we have reached the perfect balance.
Who is Evantra’s engine manufacturer?
Mr. Mazzanti: We start from the base of a German engine but we have redesigned 80 percent of the parts, so we can tell at that point that it is our own engine.
What gadgets are available with the Evantra?
Mr. Mazzanti: Apart from all of the others options, hopefully a set of tailored bags will soon be available in addition to a one-off scale model that’s 1/43 identical to the client’s car.
What’s going to be the average price for the Evantra?
Mr. Mazzanti: There isn’t an average price because there are too many differences from a “pro-body” naturally aspirated version and a “one-body” twin-turbo.
What safety systems are installed in the car?
Mr. Mazzanti: The client can choose either to install or not to install ABS and a limited slip differential.
Will you also continue with the Antas?
Mr. Mazzanti: Of course “also” with the Antas.
Lastly, how many people are employed at Mazzanti Automobili?
Mr. Mazzanti: I really want for my company to remain an atelier of artisans in order to follow every car directly by my own supervision. Therefore we employ only six people in the company, but obviously we work together with a network of another 10 external collaborators who also work on every single car.