How Glickenhaus Will Crash Its SCG 004S Prototype to Legalize America's New Supercar
BY MÁTÉ PETRÁNY
OCTOBER 15, 2020
n 2017, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus was granted low-volume manufacturer status by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Since then, SCG has sold a few road-legal 003S supercars and off-road Boots that can be easily upgraded to race specifications. The big question now is how quickly SCG can get its latest 004S supercar on American roads. The GM V8-powered, mid-engine rocket just completed the Nürburgring 24 in Competizione form, and its street trim is being road tested in Italy. And now, SCG needs to crash it.
The SCG 004S is a unique proposition in that it's a three-seater with a central driving position hand-built in America, and offered at a fraction of the price of other central-seaters like the McLaren Speedtail, Gordon Murray's upcoming GMA T.50 and the proposed Czinger 21C from California. The SCG 004S starts at $460,000 with Chevy's LT4 V8 at 650 horsepower, connected to a gated six-speed Graziano manual.
If somebody prefers the more race-ready 004CS, the 850-horsepower car with the dual-clutch seven-speed Graziano starts at $598,000. Yet before any of these cars could get a plate in at least 49 states, SCG has to hit a wall. Literally.
Large OEMs use several prototypes to get through the validation processes both in Europe and America as quickly as possible. Even niche brands like Rimac can build up to 30 cars at $1 million a pop in order to keep their tight deadlines. However, we also know from Christian von Koenigsegg himself how a single carbon fiber prototype can be subjected to all the punishment, with body panels, crash structures, subframes, windshield and other damaged components swapped test after test, only for the main chassis to survive without sustaining any unrepeatable damage. Koenigsegg's unpainted Regera certainly went through hell so that the brand's first hybrid could become a global product:Luckily, carbon fiber construction makes everything easier, allowing for the crash car's monocoque to live a second life. I've reached out to James Glickenhaus to see what their plan is for the 004S test car that's currently under construction at their Danbury plant. Here's what he could tell us:
"Normally, it can take up to 15 cars to fully crash test. Because of the strength of the 004 and its modular construction, we think we can do all required tests with a single car. Afterwards, we will rebuild it into a race car or a factory demonstrator. This also got us thinking about offering total factory crash rebuilding at a capped price of wholesale. This would reduce insurance costs and ensure that all SCGs could be completely repaired and won't ever have "salvage" titles. This would be for all our vehicles. We want them totally repairable. The S and CS are modular so very likely a lot could be salvaged. We have to work it out, but this would allow owners to know that we want their SCGs to be properly repairable. We will provide all help a dealer might need to full do a total restoration if ever needed way down the road as well. Finally, we will also offer retrofittable EVO kits at a reasonable cost indefinitely as we are constantly re-engineering our vehicles."
Selling road cars will also allow SCG to homologate its 004C for what Glickenhaus expects to be a "universal GT class" encompassing WEC, ACO, IMSA and DTM series after 2021. That's a step other manufacturers should watch out for, because the 004C has had a pretty great start with real-world racing. Three weeks ago, SCG's single 004C completed Europe's toughest endurance race against 33 factory GT3 cars without ever being calibrated for the wet, only to finish 14th overall after producing no faults during the race.
Racing is the only way a small manufacturer can truly test its road components to their maximum in a short time. James Glickenhaus claims that the 24 Hours of Nürburgring equals "100,000 miles of road testing" for them.