You are apparently looking at the world’s first folding hardtop replica, created by kit car buider M16 from the UK. According to Carscoops who spoke to the builders, the replica is based on a Lexus SC430 convertible. Normally, we see replicas looking very different from the cars they try to imitate, yet this one doesn’t look too bad. Obviously part Ferrari California and part Lexus SC430 Convertible.
In that regard, M16 did not alter the hardtop on the replica car, instead they retained it to ensure among other things that it functions properly. For Ferrari enthusiasts, this will take less than a second to realize it’s a replica despite the presence of the signatory air scoop on the bonnet. However, for Lexus enthusiasts, this might hit them badly to see their lovely body work turned into a Pininfarina wannabe.
M16 told Carscoops that the price for comprehensive kit with wheels brackets and all panels to fit and lights will be £11,950 (US$18,500/€14,000) delivered to the UK. Shipping cost will apply elsewhere.
Both cars have an interesting history; the Lexus SC430 was named the “Jewel of Lexus” since it was the first convertible from the marque. It was endowed well and shared a platform with the Lexus LS430 sports sedan. The Ferrari California on the other hand is considered a step-child of Ferrari after starting as a Maserati only to be ditched in the final stages and badged as a Ferrari. It turned out to be the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari until the arrival of the Ferrari F12.
Both cars are powered by 4.3 liter V8 engines albeit that of the Ferrari punches out more power at 454 hp, the Lexus manages 288 hp which means it would be decimated by the Ferrari at any given time, does the replica justify? Well, a Ferrari will always be a Ferrari.