The SCG 004CS Proves America's 800-HP Supercar Is Ready

·5 min read
Photo credit: Mate Petrany

This is the final preproduction SCG 004CS. Regular production deliveries are set to begin in June, and the factory in Danbury, Connecticut, is ready to unleash some 25 supercars by the end of 2022.

This weekend, the GT3-spec SCG 004C will once again race at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, Europe's toughest endurance race. While the Glickenhaus car faces the usual odds against an army of German factory teams, if the proudly red SCG 004C keeps up a good pace without any major mechanical issues, it will certainly help Jim Glickenhaus book more orders for both of his currently available road models. Those are the Baja-proven Glickenhaus Boot and the new SCG 004, the latter in road tune at 650 hp or in road-legal track form at 800 hp. Jim Glickenhaus also revealed that the manual take on the 004CS is at three percent, because at that performance level, most CS customers know what will work for them on track.

Photo credit: Mate Petrany

Standing next to the ESC calibration car at the Concorso, the final 004 prototype following four destroyed carbon-fiber monocoques in the name of global homologation, Glickenhaus went into more detail regarding this red 004CS, as well as SCG’s plans for the near-future:

Once we’ve signed off on this final preproduction car, we’ll begin delivering customer cars, and this will be soon. We sold a good number of 004Ses with the manual gearbox and 650 hp, and a good number of these 004CSes with 800 hp and (the seven-speed) paddle shift. Our Boot is going well, and we are just slowly building up the factory to meet demand. We now see that eventually, we could have demand for around 300 vehicles a year, Boots and 004s combined.

The first thing that struck me about this late 004 prototype is how thought-out the entire package is. Some of the best cars ever made were not developed in a democratic environment, and such clear direction and high level of creative freedom is crucial if a car company wishes to produce memorable products. Performance cars that pop into mind include the McLaren F1, the Mazda Miata, the first BMW M2, or perhaps Hyundai’s benchmark i30 N.

Photo credit: Mate Petrany

Jim Glickenhaus is no engineer, yet the final calibration of SCG vehicles is to his taste, helped by skilled Italians with a deep knowledge of both sports-car development, running demanding motorsport projects, as well as the emotional side of such an automotive venture.

The 004 is not only a comfortable three-seater offering a central seating arrangement for the driver at the lowest price on the market. It’s also a product of Jim Glickenhaus’s desire to create a valid GT3 car, something that would then spawn very fast road cars, and not the other way around. Frankly, every experience gained from campaigning the P4/5 Competizione and the 003C was built into the 004, a car not built of a modified Ferrari platform, nor to be a wild prototype racer with a delicate twin-turbo engine. The 004 uses hand-built GM V8s without any digital add-ons that could prove impossible to service in a decade or so. Glickenhaus believes that the moment you’re no longer able to get a supercharged Chevy small-block fixed at the local mechanic, the world as we know it would have ended anyway, and your car wouldn’t matter much.

Photo credit: Mate Petrany

What may also come to an end is SCG’s involvement in the World Endurance Championship. Fighting Toyota wherever you can has to be thrilling, yet at what cost? And more importantly, what’s the gain, asks Glickenhaus:

Racing will remain the Nürburgring and the Baja 1000, and we’ll just have to see what happens to the company, where we go depending on how well we do in the World Endurance Championship. Because you know, I’m not sure that we sell a lot of cars because we race in the WEC. I don’t think so, and it’s very hard to get sponsors. It’s great for branding and publicity, but I don’t think we’d sell fewer 004s if we stopped racing in WEC.

Selling supercars leads to the same conversation over and over again, with the 71-year-old man in the cowboy hat being forced to explain to potential customers why he wouldn’t sell them a 004 with a straight pipe, why they don’t put switching off the ESC in an 800-hp car on the front page of the SCG 004’s users’ manual, or why automatic rev-matching for the stick shift is a legal requirement, also tuned by SCG to a level where you can’t even realize it’s active.

Photo credit: Mate Petrany

Repetitive or not, 004s need to sell in order for SCG to survive. According to Glickenhaus, the second half of 2022 is looking good in that respect:

Deliveries start next month, and by the end of 2022, we’ll have 25 Glickenhaus 004s at customers. That part of the business is very solid. The only question is what we’re going to do going forward with the WEC and what we’re going to do going forward with our hydrogen pickup truck. It’s dependent on the capital raise we are in the process of trying to finalize.

Small details like the titanium plates layered in around the top-exit exhausts and the underside of the wing are a nice touch. Zooming out, the SCG 004 is lightweight, purposeful, and refined like contemporary Lotus sports cars. Unlike that class, however, it’s also packing as much power as any supercar could ever need, with the icing on the cake being the central seating position—and it’s priced well under half a million dollars in Stradale form.

Photo credit: Mate Petrany

If driving the first potentially volume Jim Glickenhaus car is as rewarding as sitting in it on the lawn of Villa d’Este, this latest American supercar should be a no-brainer for enthusiasts who have the means, or anybody bored enough of the establishment.

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