Remember earlier this year when we showed you the Arash AF8? Yeah, that wild looking, yellow, LS7-powered British supercar that looks as if it effortlessly slices through the air while in motion.
While surfing Autoblog, we saw that Youtube user Shmee150 recently got to check out the Arash AF8 in person as well as the facility where the Arash vehicles are produced, and wow, what an awesome shop. There is nothing less than utter cleanliness and simplicity in their facility, which must make for an awesome day at work. Not only do employees get to build and test these bespoke supercars, they get to design and refine them as well as restore past models.
Shmee150 is a pretty lucky guy to get to tour the facilities and also get a complete walkthrough of the AF8 supercar. The video is pretty lengthy (just shy of 30 minutes), but covers all bases of the company and is actually very interesting – just getting to see how this small, specialty car manufacturer operates is astonishing. First stop on the tour is to check out the AF8, which rests alongside the former AF-10 prototype.
Looking at the AF8 is a feast for the eyes – there is not one component on the AF8 that doesn’t have a purpose. To start off the walkthrough of the sleek supercar, the headlights are first to be explained. The curved piece of aluminum in the carbon fiber headlight housing was machined out of billet and houses the LED daytime running lights as well as the LED turn signals. That allows for the lights to be more compact and use less components to ultimately shave weight. On the hood and fenders are “spines” which are incorporated into the pieces and give the car greater aerodynamic ability while cornering and in straight line acceleration.
Moving to the back of the car, we see the rear clip has been taken off to reveal the engine bay and the inner-workings of the chassis. The AF8 was designed to be compact and have a near 50/50 weight balance, so a lot of the heavier components in the car are laid out very close to the center of the vehicle and are mounted low in the chassis. For example, the dry-sump LS7 engine sits right behind the driver and the fuel tanks are mounted on each side of the engine, meaning that if both tanks are full, half full, or almost empty, the car will always maintain a balanced center of gravity.
One feature of the car that we really like is the hood, or engine cover in this case, because it is made of really thin, lightweight carbon fiber and has functional vents to relieve the engine bay of heat. There are also two panes of glass that allow the engine to be seen when the car is stationary. Another cool part about the engine cover is the mesh outlets that let heat out of the engine bay and also add a stylish, mechanical flare.
The transmission mated to the GM-sourced LS7 engine is a conventional 6-speed unit from Graziano that is said to be really durable and reliable. Graziano also supplies transmissions for a few Ferraris and is even used in Lamborghini’s Aventador, but in a dual-clutch, paddle shift configuration. Arash used a conventional 6-speed transmission because the AF8 is a driver’s car – it’s light, basic, and fun. Who doesn’t love a manual transmission?
With the interior, Arash really kept it simple with the driver in mind – supportive seats wrapped with black leather and an appealing quilt pattern stitched in yellow to contrast with the paint. The headliner respectively matches the seats and gives the interior a luxurious feel without going over the top. Garnishing the steering wheel is carbon fiber, leather, and the yellow accent stitching for great contrast. All of the buttons in the interior are bespoke, meaning that none were carried over from previous models the company has produced, and yes, they’re billet as well.
Arash has done an awesome job keeping the interior of the AF8 pretty analog for the most part and it’s really refreshing to see a GM-powered British supercar without a lot of confusing, mind boggling technological gadgets laid out all over the cabin – just navigation, bluetooth, and an iPod connection.
The rest of the video is an awesome tour, showing the facilities and some of the past cars and prototypes, as well as some of Arash Farboud’s personal cars. There is also a look at how a lot of their carbon pieces are made and how intricately the pieces are made – a process that takes time and skill.
The second video from Shmee150 is the AF8 on the dyno, and damn does it sound good. Oh, right, because LS7! The AF8 does multiple pulls on the dyno, and what we can’t help but notice is their strap configuration – there’s no front straps! It does seem to be a mobile dyno setup though. While that seems a little sketchy to us, it obviously works for them, so we won’t question it.
LS7 engines in general make whatever you put them into a complete monster among the streets and Arash didn’t want to just drop a factory engine in there, so they made some tweaks for the better. Titanium connecting rods and a forged crank reduce unsprung weight and rotational mass in the rotating assembly, freeing up quite a bit of horsepower. The highest number that Arash got out of the AF8 was 563.4 horsepower to the tires – not a bad number at all for shaving some moving mass in the engine and revising the air intake tract!
The Arash AF8 is an awesomely innovative, hand-built supercar that definitely isn’t for everyone. However, we really like how it looks, and of course we love the engine choice. Hopefully we’ll get to see one of these on the road in SoCal instead of living vicariously through the internet all of the time, but since there are only 36 First Edition AF8’s, the chances are few and far between.